Kalamazoo man says e-cig exploded in his hand causing burns

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KALAMAZOO, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - A Kalamazoo man says he was burned after the e-cigarette he was using exploded in his hand.

The man suffered third degree burns, he asked that we not use his name or show his face, but he did share a picture of his burned hand.

The man says he was using the e-cig on Saturday night when it exploded.

"Took a couple of puffs off of it, had it between my fingers, looked down and my hand was on fire," said the man. "The whole thing just completely exploded."

Now he says he wants to warn those who use e-cigs what can happen.

"You don't know when they're going to explode, maybe some of them don't, I don't know, but they told me luckily I did not have it in my mouth because it would have put my eye out," said the man.

According to the U.S. Fire Administration, in 2014 2.5 million people in the United States used e-cigarettes, in that same year, 25 people reported their e-cig catching fire or exploding.

"There could be an enormous spark and an explosion, or it could just be a very slow discharge of electricity," said Pieter Huysken, Kalamazoo Vapor.

Huysken says these incidents usually involve the batteries of the e-cigarette.

"I just make sure that the plastic wrap that's there for everyone's safety is in place and intact and still in good condition," said Huysken.

The injured man Newschannel 3 spoke with says this was his very first electronic cigarette, he says he was trying to be healthier and wound up injured.

"They're dangerous and everything," said the man. "I bought it because I wanted to quit smoking. A regular cigarette don't explode."

The burned man tells Newschannel 3 he will require plastic surgery for his hand. He also plans to sue the manufacturer of the e-cigarette. He declined to tell us what brand it was.

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