E-cigarettes may lead to explosions, fires

ANAHEIM HILLS, Calif. (KABC) -- A 17-year-old boy was holding an e-cigarette inside his Anaheim Hills home when it blew to bits. The fragments burned a hole in the wall and carpet. The teenager suffered cuts and burns to his hand.

The incident was the second in two days in Southern California. Cal Fire reported that a Ramona man was rushed to a burn unit after his e-cigarette exploded. It also shattered a window nearby.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency is tracking incidents of electronic cigarette fires and explosions. The data is gathered from media reports.

In a safety study issued four months ago, FEMA reported: "The shape and construction of e-cigarettes can make them more likely than other products with lithium-ion batteries to be-have like 'flaming rockets' when a battery fails."

According to the FEMA, 25 injuries have been reported between 2009 and October 2014.

Most incidents occurred while the battery was charging. Injuries can range from serious second degree burns to battery acid in the mouth, face and eyes.

One explosion knocked out a Florida man's teeth and tore out part of his tongue.

FEMA says that many users convert the e-cigarettes to use marijuana or hash oil. That was not the case for the Anaheim Hills teen.

"What we conducted was a preliminary investigation into circumstances to ensure there was no criminal culpability on the part of any parties involved," Anaheim Police Lt. Bob Dunn said. "We did not determine that there was any."

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