A man was left screaming in ‘excruciating’ pain after his vape battery exploded in his pocket, setting his shorts on fire.
Dave Johnson, a builder from Colne in Lancashire, was left with second-degree burns after his vape battery ‘shorted’ before going on fire.
The 41-year-old was carrying a heavy paving slab at a customer’s home on 25 September when the incident unfolded.
Dave said: "I used to smoke then moved to vaping to get away from smoking.
"I did it for my health, I was smoking 20 a day, it's like the better of two evils.
"I was carrying some stone paving flags out of my van.
"I'd taken a fully-charged battery for the e-cig and it was in my pocket with my keys, I normally leave spare batteries in the van.
"It shorted on my keys in my pocket and exploded.
"I heard a fizzing sound, almost like when a firework rocket starts to go off, and then felt the pain.
"The pain in my right leg was excruciating, like if you put your hand in far too hot water.
"I knew straight away it had done damage.
"I dropped the flag and saw flames shooting out of my pocket - the flames were eight or nine inches coming out of my leg.
"I originally tried to stick my hand in to get it out but I couldn't. Then eventually it burned a hole through my shorts and it fell out onto the floor."
Dave’s screams alerted his colleague who rushed over to help, while the customer got a wet cloth to help cool down the burns.
His colleague then rushed him to Airedale Hospital in Steeton, West Yorkshire, where doctors gave him pain relief, scraped off the scorched flesh and bandaged his leg up.
The next day, he was referred to the specialist burns unit at Wythenshawe Hospital in Wythenshawe, Greater Manchester, where doctors cleaned it again and discovered it was infected.
Dave was admitted to hospital for six days and received IV antibiotics to tackle the infection and faced a nervous wait to see if he needed a skin graft.
Dave said: "Thankfully I didn't need surgery on my leg.
"Because my partner is a hospital sister, luckily I've been able to do my dressings at home with her help.
"It's doing ok, it's just a case of waiting for it to heal.
"It wasn't the actual e-cig that caused it, it was incorrect transportation of the battery.
"I'm still vaping but I'm not keeping batteries in my pocket any more.
"I would say to people to just be careful and be aware this can happen."Featured Image Credit: Kennedy News and Media