After returning to work after a little break, Garrett Preston had suddenly began to feel a bit of discomfort. Unfortunately for him, it seems that a “fountain of fire” had erupted in his pants, and it was all the fault of a habit that took a nasty turn.
The 19-year-old from White House, Tennessee says that he took a break from his job at Dunkin Donuts in order to satisfy a nicotine addiction he’d picked up while smoking cigarettes. However, he was actually trying to kick the nasty habit and had deployed the use of a vape mod – an enhanced e-cigarette – to get his fix without the side effects of burnt tobacco.
Unfortunately, as he came back into the store to make himself a sandwich, things took quite the nasty turn as a “fountain of fire” erupted in his pocket. According to KVAL, “Preston ran to the back of the store and ripped off what was left of his pants and saw his keys and vaporizer ‘smoking’ on the ground.”
As it turns out, his vape mod had exploded.
He spent the next 14 hours at Vanderbilt’s Burn Center for third degree burns. After weeks of healing, doctors performed a skin graft. He’s since gone public with his story in an effort to warn others of the dangers of vape mods, saying the majority of “stories about vapes exploding are user error.”
KVAL further reports, “Preston’s vape box was missing the back case that covers the battery. After it had fallen off, the teen thinks his keys touching the batteries caused them to ‘ground out’ and ignite a fire.” As he explains, the wattage can be changed in the part of the vape mod that holds the batteries, but after a while, the screws that secured the back cover fell out on him. He was using his vape mod like this for about “five or six months.”
Despite his injuries, Garrett says that he’ll still continue to vape while seeking out a safer alternative to kick his nicotine addiction. Saying that his friends still do, he simply attributes his scenario with being the “unlucky” one and only hopes to prevent others from making his same mistake.