Man Injured when Electronic Cigarette Explodes in His Mouth

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PENSACOLA, Fla. — A Florida man is recovering from severe burns and injuries after an electronic cigarette apparently exploded in his mouth.

According to WCTI-TV, Tom Holloway, a photographer and Vietnam veteran from Niceville, was smoking one of the devices at his home on Monday evening when it apparently exploded, sending molten shrapnel across the room.

“Just a super nice guy, and he’s had some health problems with his lungs and so he, he quit smoking,” Holloway’s neighbor, Wendy Jensen, told WCTI. “(Jensen’s wife) said that it sounded like a firecracker, and it was just a horrible noise, and she heard him scream and she ran in there.”

Jensen says that the explosion knocked out all of Holloway’s teeth and part of his tongue. He has been transferred to a burn center to recover.

Debris from the electronic cigarette was so hot that it melted everything it touched. Firefighters say that it appears that the device’s battery ignited, and compared it holding a lit bottle rocket in your mouth. They say that this is the first time they’ve ever heard of an incident like this.

Authorities say that it is impossible to determine the brand of the electronic cigarette.

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