Stevensville woman hurt in fire from e-cig­a­rette

The Kent Island Bay Times - - Front Page - By AN­GELA PRICE bay­times@kibay­times.com

STEVENSVILLE — A 19-year-old Clover­fields woman was in­jured Fri­day, March 16, when her elec­tronic cig­a­rette ex­ploded, catch­ing her clothes on fire.

Ac­cord­ing to a re­port from the Mary­land State Fire Mar­shal’s Of­fice, the woman said the de­vice ex­ploded as she was get­ting it out of her purse. She threw it away from her body, and her fa­ther helped her re­move her burn­ing cloth­ing and

ex­tin­guish the fire, the re­port said.

Kent Is­land Vol­un­teer Fire Depart­ment re­sponded to the woman’s home at 3 Genevieve Court shortly af­ter 1 p.m. There were some black marks on the wall, but no fire when fire­fight­ers ar­rived, said KI 1st As­sis­tant Chief Tracy Schulz.

The woman sus­tained first- and sec­ond-de­gree burns to her right arm, ab­domen, and left thigh, said Deputy State Fire Mar­shal Brad Chil­dress. She was taken by am­bu­lance to Johns Hop­kins Bay View Med­i­cal Cen­ter in Bal­ti­more, where she was treated and later re­leased.

The fire mar­shal’s of­fice ruled the cause of the fire as ac­ci­den­tal.

The lithium-ion bat­tery ex­ploded, Chil­dress said, adding the brand was a Reuleaux RX200. She was us­ing it with an As­pire Cleito 120 Elec­tronic Cig­a­rette.

Schulz said this was the first case he could re­mem­ber KIVFD re­spond­ing to that in­volved an elec­tronic cig­a­rette.

Chil­dress didn’t know if it was the first case in Queen Anne’s County, but it was not the first case in Mary­land this year.

In Jan­uary, a Sykesville man was chang­ing the bat­ter­ies on his e-cig­a­rette when it ex­ploded, burn­ing his chest, arms and face. He suf­fered burns to 18 per­cent of his body, ac­cord­ing to the Fire Mar­shal’s Of­fice.

A July 2017 re­port by the U.S. Fire Ad­min­is­tra­tion, “Elec­tronic Cig­a­rette Fires and Ex­plo­sions in the United States 2009 – 2016,” called the com­bi­na­tion of an e-cig­a­rette and a lithium-ion bat­tery “a new and unique haz­ard.”

Some key points of the re­port:

• Fires or ex­plo­sions caused by the bat­ter­ies used in elec­tronic cig­a­rette are un­com­mon; how­ever the con­se­quences can be dev­as­tat­ing and life-al­ter­ing for the vic­tims.

• Be­tween Jan­uary 2009 and De­cem­ber 31, 2016, 195 sep­a­rate in­ci­dents of ex­plo­sion and fire in­volv­ing an elec­tronic cig­a­rette were re­ported by the U.S. me­dia. Th­ese in­ci­dents re­sulted in 133 acute in­juries. Of th­ese in­juries, 38 (29 per­cent) were se­vere.

• To date, there have been no deaths in the United States caused by elec­tronic cig­a­rette fires or ex­plo­sions.

More than half of the in­ci­dents hap­pened when the de­vice was ei­ther in a pocket or ac­tu­ally in use.

Chil­dress said users should check for re­calls and take safety pre­cau­tions.

While e-cig­a­rettes are not a Food and Drug Ad­min­is­tra­tion ap­proved prod­uct, the FDA has of­fered rec­om­men­da­tions to help avoid po­ten­tial bat­tery mal­func­tions:

1. Con­sider us­ing vapes with safety fea­tures — such as fir­ing but­ton locks, vent holes and pro­tec­tion against over­charg­ing.

2. Keep your vape cov­ered – don’t let it come into con­tact with coins or loose bat­ter­ies in your pocket.

3. Never charge your vape with a phone or tablet charger — al­ways use the charger that came with it.

3. Don’t charge your vape overnight — or leave it charg­ing unat­tended.

4. Re­place the bat­ter­ies if they get dam­aged or wet — if your vape gets dam­aged and the bat­ter­ies are not re­place­able, con­tact the man­u­fac­turer.

MD FIRE MAR­SHAL’S PHOTO

A Stevensville woman suf­fered burns Fri­day, March 16, when her elec­tronic cig­a­rette ex­ploded.

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