Calgary man suffers 3rd degree burns after e-cigarette battery explodes in pocket

Click to play video: 'Lithium batteries likely cause of e-cigarette explosion'
Lithium batteries likely cause of e-cigarette explosion
WATCH ABOVE: Lithium batteries used to power e-cigarettes and cell phones are small and powerful and when they fail the results can be disastrous. As Carolyn Kury de Castillo reports, one Calgary man now has third degree burns as a result of a battery exploding in his pocket – Feb 27, 2017

A Calgary man is recovering from severe burns after an e-cigarette battery exploded in his pocket Friday night.

Terrence Johnson and his wife Rachel Rex were leaving a restaurant after having dinner, when Johnson was injured by flames that burst out from his pants pocket.

It turns out, it was the result of the loose spare e-cigarette battery coming into contact with coins. Heat from the explosion fused the battery to Johnson’s jeans.

READ MORE: Spare e-cigarette battery explodes in man’s pocket in dramatic vide

Johnson was taken to Foothills Hospital. Sunday, he found out that he will need skin grafting for third-degree burns.

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“We were outside of our favourite restaurant Embarcadero chatting with our favourite waiter after a great meal and there was an explosion and flames everywhere. We realized my husband Terrence was on fire. The loose backup battery for his e-cigarette had exploded in his pocket with some change,” Rex said. “It burned through his jeans and melted his polyester underwear to his skin and he burnt his hand trying to put the fire out. He has mostly first and second degree burns but the black spot on his thigh is third degree and he will likely need a skin graft.”

Most e-cigarettes use lithium batteries due to their ability to store large amounts of energy in a compact space, but they can produce a discharge when shorted out.

“We had heard about the actual devices exploding but never knew the risk of the batteries. We keep thinking thank god one of our kids wasn’t standing next to him and we want to warn people,”Rex said. “We also want to give props to Greg, the head waiter at Embarcadero, who was instrumental in keeping calm and helping until EMS arrived.”

READ MORE: To vape or not to vape: Alberta expert says research is lacking

Credit: Rachel Rex

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