MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A Naples area man is in a medically induced coma at a Miami hospital after an e-cigarette blew up in his face.
“I was laying in bed with my two-year old and I heard an explosion,” said Ema Richardson. “Then I started smelling burning, smoke and fire.”
Richardson said when she went into another room she found her 21-year old brother Evan Spahlinger on the floor. His face and upper part of his body was covered in soot, the e-cigarette he had been puffing on had exploded.
“I found my brother not breathing with his whole face burned and his neck burned and trying to throw up a little or maybe he was gasping for air,” said Richardson.
Spahlinger was rushed to NCH Downtown Naples Hospital before he was flown to a Miami.
“They said he has internal and external burns and damage to his lungs from the explosion itself and possibly the mouth piece went, when the cigarette exploded it went down his throat and exploded again,” she said.
North Collier Fire Control and Rescue said the explosion was most likely caused by the device’s lithium battery. Richardson said her brother will never use an e-cig again.
“He said I’m done, that’s it. That’s the only thing he said. Luckily I was here. It was the most traumatic experience I think of my life.”
Nationwide, there have been several reports of e-cigarette batteries exploding. A California woman won a $2 million dollar award by a jury after an e-cigarette incident left her with serious burns.