• Vaping device explodes in man's face in Catawba County

    By: Dave Faherty

    Updated:

    LONG VIEW, N.C. - A vaping device exploded in a man’s face Thursday afternoon in Long View.

    The man was taken to the hospital with serious injuries.

    Eyewitness News’ Dave Faherty was the first reporter on the scene and watched fire investigators remove the vaping device.

    "If you buy these devices and you do vape and, like I said, a lot of people try to tune them up and make them more powerful than they are,” Long View fire Chief Jame Brinkley said. “When you buy something from the manufacturer, it's usually meant to be kept that way."

    It is unclear if the vaping device was modified, but there have been problems nationwide including another possible explosion in Florida. A man died after he was found with burns to more than half of his body.    

    There have also been reports of vape pens and e-cigarettes erupting into flames. 

    Michael Townsend owns a vape shop in Hildebran, and tells customers how to safely work the devices.  

    Man loses 9 teeth, suffers burns after e-cigarette device explodes in mouth

    "I had a customer that had one, and he had it in his back pocket and he actually sat down on it, and it mashed that bottom and burned a whole in his britches," said Townsend, who owns King Vapor Venom.

    Llithium batteries in some devices have overheated and ignited.  Neighbors of the man in Long View hope he makes a full recovery. 

    "That's terrible to hear that,” neighbor Conna Waldrop said. “If anyone is thinking about quitting smoking, they may need to go some other route."

    Authorities have not released the brand of the vaping device and whether it has been linked to other cases nationwide. 

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