Charging E-Cigarette Blamed for Vehicle Fire - FOX 18 Quad Cities News and Weather

Charging E-Cigarette Blamed for Vehicle Fire

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Electronic cigarettes, or e-cigs, are said to contain fewer harmful ingredients than traditional, tobacco cigarettes, but there could be danger with the way they're charged.

That apparently was to blame for a recent vehicle fire in Mount Morris, Illinois.

The Sterling firefighters who responded on Friday say an e-cig that was apparently left charging for several hours in the truck was the cause of the fire that left behind a good deal of damage to the vehicle's interior

They say the battery inside the charger was likely the problem. It's a lithium battery, which are also often used in laptops and cell phones, and experts say they're prone to overheating and exploding - especially with e-cigarettes.

There have been dozens of cases of e-cigarettes causing fires across the world, but this is the first time the Sterling Fire Department has had to respond to such a burn.

Now, Lieutenant Matt Laughlin says he wants consumers to pay attention to the brand of the charger and the e-cig itself.

"More times than not, people are not using the proper charger that it comes with, and sometimes, it can overheat and the lithium battery inside the e-cigarette tends to heat up a little faster and burns more hot, which causes the excess heat, which could possibly make it explode," he explained.

Fire officials also advise consumers to keep an eye on other devices like cell phone and iPads while they're charging - whether at home, in vehicles, or USB ports.

As with e-cigarettes, there have been plenty of reports of fires caused by overheating those devices.

Lt. Laughlin says if the e-cigarette does not come with a charger, consumers should find out which brands are most compatible to reduce the fire risk.



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