(ABC 3) – A strange accident has left a Niceville man with severe injuries and burns.
He was smoking an electronic cigarette when it blew up in his face.
Laura Hussey “When firefighters here at the North Bay station got the call there’d been an explosion in someone’s home, they thought it might be an oxygen tank. It turns out something much smaller had done some awful damage”
Tom Holloway is a photographer, a Vietnam Veteran, a father of three.
Wendy Jensen/Friend “Just a super nice guy, and he’s had some health problems with his lungs and so he, he quit smoking”
Neighbor Wendy Jensen says Holloway had been using electronic cigarettes for about two years.
Monday evening, his wife heard a loud noise from the study.
“She said that it sounded like a firecracker, and it was just a horrible noise, and she heard him scream and she ran in there”
Holloway’s cigarette had exploded.
The debris that flew around the room was so hot, it melted everything it touched.
Chief Butch Parker/North Bay Fire District “And what we believe was in the battery, and whenever the battery ignited, it was basically like him holding a bottle rocket in his mouth”
Wendy Jensen “It exploded in his face, and it knocked out all his teeth and part of his tongue and he had blood all over his face, and it set the study on fire”
Jensen says Holloway has been transferred to a burn center.
Firefighters say it was impossible to tell the brand of the electronic cigarette; this is the first time they’ve heard of one exploding.
Wendy “Oh it’s horrible, we were just up all night thinking about it, it’s horrible”
Laura Hussey “This incident has been reported to a national database, so any possible patterns can be identified.”