An exploding vape pen fatally wounded a 38-year-old Florida man in what is believed to be the nation’s first e-cigarette death, according to a government report.
Firefighters found Tallmadge Wakeman D’Elia’s burned body in the upstairs bedroom of his St. Petersburg home May 5 after a neighbor reported seeing flames, WTSP reported.
D’Elia, a former TV producer for CNBC, suffered burns on 80 percent of his body and also sustained injuries to his skull and brain. At least two parts of the exploding vape pen were removed from his cranium, the Pinellas County medical examiner told the Tampa Bay Times.
D’Elia was smoking an unregulated Smok-E Mountain Mech Works vape pen before he died. The pen does not come with safety features to ensure the device doesn’t overheat, according to an online product description.
A spokesman for Smok-E Mountain Mech Works told ABC Action News that they’ve been having issues with other companies cloning their batteries. The spokesman said the company’s devices do not explode and that the problem likely stems from the battery or the atomizer.
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SOURCE: New York Post, Alexandra Klausner