DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – A Wise County father was taken to Parkland Hospital in Dallas with second and third degree burns after a battery from an e-cigarette caught fire in his pocket.
Jeremy Green, 34, thought e-cigarettes would be a healthier smoking alternative when he started using them a few years ago. “I’ve done it every day for a long time now never had an issue with it,” he said.
That was until Thursday when the lithium battery used to power his e-cig exploded in his pant’s pocket.
“I bent over to grab something and in the process of bending over the battery exploded,” he said. “It was like a blowtorch going off inside my pants… the most excruciating pain that I’ve felt ever,” said Green.
Green now struggles to walk and suffered extensive second and third degree burns from his hip to his knee where his jeans caught fire.
“I saw the flames the sparks so I grabbed the battery and pulled it out of my pants,” said Green.
He was treated in Parkland Hospital’s burn unit and faces a long recovery from a danger he said he wasn’t aware of.
An e-cigarette industry website said 30 smokers have experienced similar lithium battery explosions since 2012. But most of those were while the battery was on its charger.
Green’s incident has raised concerns about the safety of the batteries when they aren’t charging.
It’s a lesson Green learned the hard way. He’s home now but without medical insurance to pay his bills and unable to work for at least another month – times are tough.
“Right now I’m the sole provider for my family this is going to put me out of commission for a while,” said Green.
Several e-cigarette users have filed lawsuits over damage and injuries from exploding batterie. Green is considering following their lead.