Exploding electronic cigarette blamed for fire

Posted: Updated:
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman

QUEEN CREEK, Ariz -- Kyler Lawson told 3 On Your Side, "I've been smoking for quite a while. “I started when I was underage."

Kyler has been lighting up for 8 years but recently he got a serious wake up call. "My dad passed away last year of cancer from smoking cigarettes, so I decided to quit."

The Queen Creek man found an alternative to smoking through electronic cigarettes which not only contain nicotine, but they also emit a water-like vapor that helps simulate smoking.

"I’ve seen all the commercials online with the cigarettes and how they’re supposed to help so I went out and bought one from the company Crown Seven."

However after buying his Crown Seven Gladiator electronic cigarette, Lawson said the unexpected happened.

"I had it for four days and when I was charging it, it exploded." Kyler went on to say, "It shot out like a bullet, hit the window, dropped from the window to the carpet. Caught the carpet on fire."

Kyler said he immediately threw a glass of water on the carpet.

"If I wasn't home, the whole house would of went up in flames. Because the fire started off small just the size of the battery and spread very quickly."

By looking closer, there appears to be burn marks from what Kyler said came from pieces of  a melted lithium battery. 

Kyler emailed photos of the damage and the charger to Ron MacDonald, president of Crown Seven located in Scottsdale, Ariz.

"He was like, that's not my product and that's not my charger either. And I don't accept any responsibility for the damages or anything," said Kyler.

3 On Your Side took a closer look at the charger by examining the picture that Kyler sent to us. 
We then compared it to the packaged charger on Crown Seven's website and it does seem that it's a few inches longer. 

On the company's website, Crown Seven cautions consumers: "Do not charge the Crown Seven battery with any power supply other than a Crown Seven battery charger."

It goes on to say, “use of any power supply not manufactured specifically by Crown Seven could cause damage to the battery and will void the warranty.” Kyler insists he was using a Crown Seven charger.

Crown Seven’s president declined 3 On Your Side’s interview request. But he emailed us saying in part “the pictures clearly indicate he purchased a single battery that did not come with the provided charging cable."

Kyler remains frustrated but shares this advice: "If you're going to charge it, be there. Be present when you're charging it because you never know what can happen."