Fla. man seriously injured in e-cigarette explosion

Posted at 2:49 PM, Oct 28, 2015
and last updated 2015-10-28 19:49:08-04

E-cigarettes are generally considered to be a safer alternative to traditional cigarettes, but they could come with some unexpected risks.

A Florida man was seriously injured, placed in a medically-induced coma, after his e-cigarette apparently blew up while he was using it. Now, his family wants others to understand the potential dangers that come with using the devices.
It all started with a loud boom. Evan Spahlinger, 21, was found on the floor, covered in soot and not breathing.
“I was laying in bed with my 2-year-old and I heard an explosion, then I started smelling burning, smoke and fire,” Ema Richardson, Sphalinger’s sister, told WINK News. “I found my brother not breathing, with his whole face burned and his neck burned and trying to throw up a little or maybe he was gasping for air, so I called 911.”
After being taken to NCH Downtown Naples Hospital, Spahlinger was flown to another hospital in Miami, where doctors placed him in a coma to alleviate his pain.
Richardson said her brother now has internal and external burns, as well as damage to his lungs. Officials told WINK they believe the explosion was caused by the device’s lithium battery.
But Richardson -- who called the experience one of the most traumatic in her life – feels that if this could happen to her brother, it could happen to anyone. 
“We want people to know the risk and dangers. Had Evan of known, maybe he wouldn’t have chosen to smoke the electronic cigarette,” she said.