Autopsy shows exploding vape pen, not fire, killed St. Pete man

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Autopsy shows exploding vape pen, not fire, killed St. Pete man

The autopsy results from the medical examiner of Pinellas County reveal that his e-cigarette made a "projectile wound" in his skull as well as started the fire.

His vape device exploded on May 5, causing his St. Pete home to catch fire. He suffered burns to 80 percent of his body. The report lists the cause of death as "projectile wound of the head".

According to FEMA, the 38-year-old's death is the first in the U.S. to be caused by a vaping pen.

While such incidents are rare and the death has been ruled accidental, it isn't the first time a spontaneous e-cigarette explosion has raised concerns.

E-cigarettes that are similar in size and shape to traditional cigarettes come with a smaller wattage unit and therefore may not have the power to fail as dramatically, said Thomas Kiklas, chief financial officer of the Tobacco Vapor Electronic Cigarette Association.

Smok-E Mountain, however, told ABC its e-cigarettes do not explode, suggesting instead that the device's battery or atomizer was likely to blame. Wilder told ABC Action News that he, as well as many other local store owners, won't sell unregulated e-cigarettes.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has said the cause of these explosions could stem from battery-related issues, but hasn't pinpointed the exact reason for them.

Use vapes with safety features, including protection against overcharging.

There were 195 separate e-cigarette fire and explosion incidents in the United States reported by the media between 2009 and 2016, according to data released past year by the US Fire Administration. They include a man losing several teeth and suffering second-degree burns in January 2017 when a vape pen exploded.

'It can explode and at that point it can project either the pieces of the lighter itself or the vape pen'.

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