Man killed when vaping pen explodes, sending pieces into his skull

The explosion sent two pieces of the vape pen into his cranium, the report said.

The death was ruled an accident.

Former CNBC producer Tallmadge Wakeman D'Elia, 38, passed away earlier this month on May 5 in St. Petersburg, FL after his vape pen/e-cigarette exploded, igniting a fire in his bedroom.

The vape pen was from the brand Smok-E Mountain, whose unregulated products are made in the Philippines and don't have safety features to prevent them from overheating.

He was found inside his burning Florida home by firefighters, the Tampa Bay Times reported. He suffered burns to most of his body, but authorities don't believe the fire was what caused his death.

There have been other reports of injuries from vape pens, said the report.

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When emergency responders first came upon D'Elia's St. Petersburg home, the report indicates they found "extensive" fire damage and minimal smoke in the room where the body was found.

Though such incidents are rare, this isn't the first time a spontaneous e-cigarette explosion has raised concerns. Cheap, generic lithium-ion batteries can be found everywhere from local vape shops to Amazon, and assuming that there's any kind of quality control in their manufacturing is a fool's errand.

It remains unclear why the vape pen used by D'Elia, manufactured by Smok-E Mountain, exploded.

"No other consumer product places a battery with a known explosion hazard such as this in such close proximity to the human body", the Fire Administration's report notes.

The health effects related to the ingestion of e-cigarette vapour are still being studied by government agencies. Finally, avoid altering the device, anddo not leave it in extreme temperatures, such as in direct sunlight or in a freezing auto overnight.

The company's owner did not immediately respond to an email requesting comment on Wednesday, but a representative told ABC Action News that its devices do not explode, adding that the problem may have stemmed from the battery.

  • Megan Austin