Saint Petersburg, Florida, May 17, 2018-
authorities have confirmed that a Florida man was killed earlier this month after his e-cigarette exploded in his face, sending shards of metal into his brain and simultaneously starting a fire inside his home, according to an article by the BBC.
The body of Tallmadge D’Elia, 38, was found after firefighters from St Petersburg, Florida entered his family’s beach resort home after neighbors called 9-1-1. By the time firefighters discovered D’Elia’s corpse, he had been burned over more than 80 percent of his body.
The two pieces of the Smoke-E Mountain vape pen e-cigarette were found inside D’Elia’s brain during an autopsy, the BBC reports.
Investigators are ruling the death an accident.
D’Elia worked as a television producer, and he is believed to be the first U.S. citizen to die as a result of an e-cigarette explosion. The BBC did report that “between 2009-16 there were 195 separate incidents of explosions and fires involving an e-cigarette, resulting in 133 acute injuries, 38 of them severe.”
Officials have not commented on the cause of the explosion but did tell ABC Action News that the device in questions was a “mechanical-mod” which lacked several of the safety features regarding battery usage that other electronic cigarettes usually have.