Medical Examiner: Exploding vape pen caused Florida man's death

Posted at 10:18 AM, May 15, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-15 11:51:28-04

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- The Medical Examiner of Pinellas County, Florida has confirmed that a vape pen explosion is to blame for a St. Petersburg man's death. 

Bill Pellan, Director of Investigations at the Pinellas County Medical Examiner's Office confirmed the report to Scripps station WFTS in Tampa on Tuesday. 

Tallmadge Wakeman D'Elia, 38, who went by "Wake," died in a fire in an upstairs bedroom of a home. 

RELATED | Fire investigator: Vape pen explosion may have killed St. Pete man

When firefighters discovered him, 45 percent of his body was covered in burns. The medical examiner says D'Elia's cause of death is "accidental."

A recent FEMA/ US Fire Administration report found e-cigarette and vape explosions are not common, when they do happen, the shape of the devices make them behave like “flaming rockets.”

The Medical Examiner is expected to release a full report Tuesday afternoon.