Woman’s purse catches fire after ‘vape pen explodes’

By | August 10, 2017


Sparks were flying at a city council meeting in Nevada after an audience member’s purse caught fire when ‘batteries from her vape pen exploded’.

Video of the incident shows what appears to be a normal meeting in Boulder City on Tuesday evening, until a woman sitting in the back of the room jumped to her feet. 

Flames were seen shooting from her purse as smoke filled the area and she pushed the purse onto the floor. Other audience members turned around in shock.

Video courtesy of KTNV 

Sparks were flying at a city council meeting in Nevada after an audience member's purse caught fire when 'batteries from her vape pen exploded'

Sparks were flying at a city council meeting in Nevada after an audience member's purse caught fire when 'batteries from her vape pen exploded'

Sparks were flying at a city council meeting in Nevada after an audience member’s purse caught fire when ‘batteries from her vape pen exploded’

Video of the incident shows what appears to be a normal meeting in Boulder City on Tuesday evening, until a woman sitting in the back of the room jumped to her feet. Flames were seen shooting from her purse as smoke filled the area

Video of the incident shows what appears to be a normal meeting in Boulder City on Tuesday evening, until a woman sitting in the back of the room jumped to her feet. Flames were seen shooting from her purse as smoke filled the area

Video of the incident shows what appears to be a normal meeting in Boulder City on Tuesday evening, until a woman sitting in the back of the room jumped to her feet. Flames were seen shooting from her purse as smoke filled the area

The woman pushed the purse onto the floor as people next to her tried to move out of the way 

The woman pushed the purse onto the floor as people next to her tried to move out of the way 

The woman pushed the purse onto the floor as people next to her tried to move out of the way 

Luckily, Boulder City Fire Chief Kevin Nicholson was in the room as part of his usual attendance to the meetings and rushed over to help the woman, according to the city’s Facebook page. 

‘There were flames on the front of her shirt,’ the post read, adding that ‘Nicholson ushered the woman outside’ and everyone was cleared from the room.

According to the council, paramedics arrived shortly after the incident and the ‘woman was treated for minor burns at the scene and released’.

Nicholson said the fire sparked from a ‘battery malfunction’ that ignited her purse.

According to KTVN, another woman said that the batteries belonged to a vape pen or e-cigarette that was tucked away in the victim’s purse.

Vape pens and e-cigarette explosions aren’t that uncommon. 

Surgeons and firemen have warned about the dangers of e-cigarettes after treating a string of civilian smokers injured by exploding devices.

And the US Navy banned the devices on ships in April after at least a dozen reports of explosions and injuries.  

Other audience members turned around in shock. Luckily, Boulder City Fire Chief Kevin Nicholson was in the room as part of his usual attendance to the meetings and rushed over to help the woman

Other audience members turned around in shock. Luckily, Boulder City Fire Chief Kevin Nicholson was in the room as part of his usual attendance to the meetings and rushed over to help the woman

Other audience members turned around in shock. Luckily, Boulder City Fire Chief Kevin Nicholson was in the room as part of his usual attendance to the meetings and rushed over to help the woman

Nicholson said the fire sparked from a 'battery malfunction' that ignited her purse. Paramedics arriving to the scene

Nicholson said the fire sparked from a 'battery malfunction' that ignited her purse. Paramedics arriving to the scene

Nicholson said the fire sparked from a ‘battery malfunction’ that ignited her purse. Paramedics arriving to the scene

Another woman at the meeting said the batteries belonged to a vape pen or e-cigarette that was tucked away in the victim's purse. The woman's purse is seen as officials inspect its contents

Another woman at the meeting said the batteries belonged to a vape pen or e-cigarette that was tucked away in the victim's purse. The woman's purse is seen as officials inspect its contents

Another woman at the meeting said the batteries belonged to a vape pen or e-cigarette that was tucked away in the victim’s purse. The woman’s purse is seen as officials inspect its contents

The 'woman was treated for minor burns at the scene and released'. Pictured is her charred purse and some of its contents

The 'woman was treated for minor burns at the scene and released'. Pictured is her charred purse and some of its contents

The ‘woman was treated for minor burns at the scene and released’. Pictured is her charred purse and some of its contents

The number of injuries caused by exploding e-cigarettes is on the rise, the FDA warned earlier this year, with 66 explosions occurring in 2015 and early 2016 alone. 

That’s compared with 92 explosions between 2009 and September 2015 – averaging around 18 a year, or 27 per cent of the most recent totals.

And those figures could be an undercount. Seattle’s Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, said it has seen about 23 patients with e-cigarette burns since it started tracking them informally in October 2015. 

Faulty batteries, coupled with increasing popularity, are the suspected culprits in the dramatic increase in injuries. The industry maintains e-cigarettes are safe when used properly.

The problems with the devices are linked to their lithium-ion batteries, which help vaporize liquid nicotine into a mist that distributors and some health experts say is far less harmful than traditional tobacco cigarettes.

The same types of batteries are used safely in many consumer electronics, but they’ve also been behind fires in hover boards and smartphones. 

It’s important to never carry the batteries loosely as they may rub up against metal coins or keys and fail. They may also leak or explode. 



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