Medical Examiner: Exploding vape pen caused man's death

The Medical Examiner of Pinellas County has confirmed that a vape pen explosion is to blame for a St. Petersburg man'...

Posted: May 15, 2018 11:57 PM
Updated: May 15, 2018 11:57 PM

The Medical Examiner of Pinellas County has confirmed that a vape pen explosion is to blame for a St. Petersburg man's death.

Bill Pellan, Director of Investigations at the Pinellas County Medical Examiner's Office confirmed the report to ABC Action News on Tuesday.

Tallmadge Wakeman D'Elia, 38, who went by "Wake," died in a fire in an upstairs bedroom of a home located at 316 19th Avenue NE.

When firefighters discovered him, 45% of his body was covered in burns. The medical examiner says D'Elia's cause of death is "accidental."

A recent FEMA/ US Fire Administration report found e-cigarette and vape explosions are not common, when they do happen, the shape of the devices make them behave like "flaming rockets."

The Medical Examiner is expected to release a full report Tuesday afternoon.

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