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WARNING: CONTAINS DISTRESSING IMAGES
A man's e-cigarette blew up in his pocket which led to him having skin grafts to his crotch.
Dad-of-three Darren Wilson was in agony when the device burst into flames and leaked battery acid all over his nether regions.
The 37-year-old has had skin grafted from his backside onto severe burns following the incident, which occurred despite the e-cig not being plugged in or in use at the time of the explosion.
Darren, who owns a gas fitting firm, says he is in horrendous pain and needs morphine just to go to the toilet or wash.
He said he could be in hospital for another fortnight and wants to warn people about the potential dangers of e-cigarettes.
Darren, from Kirkby, Merseyside explained: "I have been refurbishing my house. I was stood by the kitchen door and the next thing I thought someone had thrown a firework into the doorway.
"I looked down and my pocket was going off like a banger; it was fizzing and sparking and smoke was coming from it. I was wearing my work pants and tried to get it out, but it burnt through and burnt all my bollocks and my left leg.
"I can't walk, I need morphine every time I go to have a shower or wash and clean. They need to re-dress it every eight hours."
Darren says his work colleagues, who were helping him with re-decorating, rushed to help and drove him to Aintree Hospital.
He said: "It was like my legs were melting, burning and melting, all the way to the hospital."
After some initial treatment at Aintree he was transferred to a major burns unit in Whiston Hospital.
Darren says he began using e-cigarettes after giving up smoking around six months ago.
He said: "I have been trying to get healthy for the last six months since giving up smoking, and I have actually lost two and a half stone. I started using e-cigs thinking it would be better for me, more fool me."
Darren's partner, Claire Mulhearn, said: "I just said to him, 'You're a gas engineer, you've never had any problems or burns, and you get blown up by an e-cig.'"
Darren says the e-cigarette was bought from a shop in the Liverpool district of Walton, and recently had replacement batteries fitted.
Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service were not required for either incident, but issued advice to e-cigarette users.
A spokesman said: "Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service has attended a number of fires involving e-cigarettes while they were charging.
"Each fire has been thoroughly investigated in order to understand the reasons which led to the fire in the first instance and in order to limit the chance of fires involving electrical items happening again."
Its advice to e-cigarette users: "Always use electrical equipment in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions and guidance.
"Always ensure all electrical appliances have either a British (BS) or European (CE) Safety Mark when you buy them.
"Always ensure that no electrical items are left charging over night or left unattended for a long period when being charged. Never leave e-cigarettes on charge unattended for long periods.
"Do not mix parts from different e-cigarettes.
"Only use the original charger or electrical cables supplied.
"Ensure you purchase electrical items from a reputable source.
"Ensure you have working smoke alarms on each level of your home and test them regularly - smoke alarms save lives."
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