Man killed after vape pen explodes

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An autopsy report found that the 38-year-old St. Petersburg man was accidentally killed by an exploding vape pen.

The Tampa Bay Times have reported that Mr D'Elia was discovered by firefighters in the burning bedroom of his family home.

FEMA, the government agency that tracks e-cigarette statistics, confirmed the death was the first in the US caused by a vape pen.

The Pinellas County medical examiner confirmed the detail to 10News on Tuesday. The autopsy noted that the e-cigarette was manufactured by Smok-E Mountain and was a "mod" type device. Before then, a New Yorker suffered third-degree burns after the device exploded in his trousers, the Times reported. He also suffered burns on about 80 percent of his body. As ABC reported, investigators believe that the vape device D'Elia was using may have exploded, possibly due to a faulty battery or charger.

Deputy fire marshal Steven Lawrence, who attended the scene, said vape pens can "become pieces of flying debris and shrapnel".

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According to USA fire authorities at least 195 e-cigarettes exploded or caught fire between 2009 and 2016.

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has a section on e-cigarette safety tips and even one for reporting explosions.

D'Elia used a mod pen, which is a vape that can be customized, distributed by Smok-E Mountain. Until the vaping industry takes responsibility for its products, these incidents will continue to occur, and it is likely there will be more deaths.

"No other consumer product places a battery with a known explosion hazard such as this in such close proximity to the human body", it said. "His mother and I weren't home, so that's why he may have been using it inside", he said while talking about e-cigarette use by his son. Instead, they sell vape pens with a computer chip inside, which keeps the device from overheating.

The agency cautions users from carrying e-cig batteries loose in their pockets, "especially where they might come into contact with coins, keys or other metal objects which can cause the battery to short out".

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