Confirmed: Vape Explosion Kills Florida Man; First Vaping Death in History

A deadly fire that killed a 38-year-old man in St. Petersburg, FL has just been confirmed to have been caused by an exploding vape pen.

The Pinellas County medical examiner officially released the cause of death on Tuesday. This is the first confirmed case of an exploding e-cig resulting in a death. There have been numerous explosions in the past, some of them resulting in horrific injuries but none have been fatal. Until now.

The man, Tallmadge D’Elia, died from a “projectile wound of the head” and suffered burns on 80% of his body.

It’s important to note that these explosions are quite rare and usually caused by user error. The CDC has put out a fact sheet with basic safety information. Here is the info:

  • Never carry e-cig batteries loose in your pocket, especially where they might come into contact with coins, keys or other metal objects which can cause the battery to short out.
  • Never use you phone or tablet charger. Use the charger that originally came with the device.
  • Don’t charge your vape device while sleeping or leave it unattended.
  • Charge it on a flat surface away from anything that can catch fire. Don’t charge it on your couch or bed.
  • Always replace the batteries if they get damaged or wet.
  • Always use batteries recommended for your device and don’t mix and match different brands or mix old and new batteries.
  • Never alter your device or disable the safety features like fire button locks or vent holes.
  • Protect your vape from extreme temperatures by not leaving it in direct sunlight or in a freezing car overnight.

You can also read our article from a couple years ago about how to prevent e-cig explosions, which is still extremely relevant.

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