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State Fire Marshal Investigating Two Separate SW Fla. E-Cig Explosions

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CAPE CORAL (CBSMiami) – Just a week apart, two Southwest Florida men were seriously hurt when their e-cigarettes exploded.

According to the Naples Daily News, Randall Cales was golfing in Cape Coral when his refurbished e-cig exploded in his pocket.

"We do it was a refurbished one and that it broke and was refurbished a second time," said Scot Goldberg, Cales' attorney. "Clearly there was a problem with it or it wouldn't blow up."

Goldberg is starting his own investigation to figure out who should be held responsible.

Cales has had skin grafts to his upper thigh and has a follow-up treatment scheduled at a burn unit.

On Monday, Evan Spahlinger was puffing on his e-cigarette in his North Naples home when it exploded in his face.

"I found my brother not breathing with his whole face burned and his neck burned and trying to throw up a little or maybe he was gasping for air," said Ema Richardson, Spahlinger's sister.

Spahlinger was rushed to NCH Downtown Naples Hospital before he was flown to a Miami. He was placed into a medically induced a coma.

The State Fire Marshal is now investigating to determine how and why the explosion took place.


Michael Minichiello, who owns Vintage Joye Vapor Lounge in Naples, says e-cigarettes are safe as long as they aren't modified or rebuilt.

Minichiello advises to buy only the well-known brands and never tamper with one.

According to the U.S. Fire Administration, nearly all of the accidents involving e-cigarettes happen while they're being charged. And they warn you should always charge according to the manufacturer's instructions and never vape while charging.

To read the U.S. Fire Administration's study on e-cigarettes follow the link:

Nationwide, there have been several reports of e-cigarette batteries exploding. A California woman won a $2 million dollar award by a jury after an e-cigarette incident left her with serious burns.


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