A former CNBC producer died after his e-cigarette exploded, penetrated his brain, and set a fire in his bedroom that left 45% of his body covered in burns.
According to a FEMA report, Tallmadge Wakeman D’Elia (above, insert) was killed on May 5 in his St. Petersburg, Florida bedroom.
The autopsy states that the Smok-E Mountain Mech Works vape pen he was using, an unregulated device reportedly made in the Philippines, sparked a fire when it exploded and also made a “projectile wound” in the 38-year-old’s skull.
It’s still unclear what caused the pen to explode, but E-cig and vape explosions are unfortunately not common, according to a recent FEMA report. When they do occur, the design of the devices causes them to behave like “flaming rockets.”
The medical examiner says D’Elia’s cause of death is “accidental.” It is the first death in the USA to be caused by a vaping pen.