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Vape pen explosion led to death of Florida man, autopsy finds

The explosion reportedly sent pieces of the pen into the man's head and started a fire in his house.

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Abrar Al-Heeti Video producer / CNET
Abrar Al-Heeti is a video host and producer for CNET, with an interest in internet trends, entertainment, pop culture and digital accessibility. Before joining the video team, she was a writer for CNET's culture team. She graduated with bachelor's and master's degrees in journalism from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Though Illinois is home, she now loves San Francisco -- steep inclines and all.
Expertise Abrar has spent her career at CNET breaking down the latest trends on TikTok, Twitter and Instagram, while also reporting on diversity and inclusion initiatives in Hollywood and Silicon Valley. Credentials
  • Named a Tech Media Trailblazer by the Consumer Technology Association in 2019, a winner of SPJ NorCal's Excellence in Journalism Awards in 2022 and has three times been a finalist in the LA Press Club's National Arts & Entertainment Journalism Awards.
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A vape pen led to the death of a Florida man, according to an autopsy.

Leon Neal / AFP/Getty Images

A 38-year-old Florida man died after his vape pen exploded and sent projectiles into his head earlier this month, according to the Tampa Bay Times.

A report from the Pinellas-Pasco Medical Examiner confirmed that the vape pen led to the death of Tallmadge D'Elia. D'Elia was found by firefighters in the burning bedroom of his family's home in St. Petersburg. He also suffered burns on around 80 percent of his body.

The "mod" type pen was manufactured by Smok-E Mountain, which according to its Facebook page is located in the Philippines, the Tampa Bay Times reports. The Facebook page is currently unavailable.

A Smok-E Mountain representative told ABC affiliate WFTS that it was likely an issue with the product's atomizer or battery, rather than the device itself. 

E-cigarette explosions have led to a handful of other injuries. A Florida man was taken to the hospital in 2012 after an e-cigarette exploded in his mouth, resulting in burns and the loss of his front teeth. A similar incident took place in Idaho last January when a vape pen blew up in a man's face, according to NBC 6. And in 2016, a New York man suffered third-degree burns when an e-cigarette exploded in his pants, according to NBC 4 New York.