NICEVILLE, Fla. (WALA) - Tom Holloway of Niceville was severely injured when the electronic cigarette he was using blew up in his face. He is now back home recovering from his wounds.
"The gentleman had sustained burns to his mouth and lips. He had evidently lost some teeth," said Division Chief Joseph Parker with the North Bay Fire Department.
Parker said the explosion also blew off a chunk of Holloway's tongue and set numerous parts of his office on fire.
Holloway was rushed to the hospital.
Chief Parker said they've never actually dealt with a situation like this before. They had to refer to a guide online to give them an idea of how the electronic cigarettes work.
"It was kind of an eye opener for us. The diagram I have shows how the device should be set up," Parker said. "It shows the LED that represents the ash end, the battery chamber, the control chip and the warming element that heats up and vaporizes the nicotine patch."
Holloway was transferred to the USA Regional Burn Center in Mobile.
Bob Cahill has been Holloway's neighbor for seven years. He said he was shocked when he heard.
"I thought it just contained water vapor. I didn't even know it had a heat source and I'm very surprised that an explosion would happen," Cahill said.
The Tobacco Vapor Electronic Cigarette Association issued a statement regarding the incident on their website.
The U. S. Consumer Product Safety Commission also requested information from the North Bay Fire Department on the incident.
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