E-cigarette battery explodes like ‘hand grenade’ in pocket

A Haralson County man says his entire household has been turned upside down after his e-cigarette battery exploded, causing him third-degree burns.

Jeremy McDow told Channel 2 Action News he started using e-cigarettes to quit smoking regular tobacco cigarettes — for his health.

But in July, the lithium-ion battery blew up in his pants pocket while he was at work.

“As soon as one went off, two went off, and three went off,” McDow told Channel 2. “It was like a miniature hand grenade, so it was like bang, bang, bang.”

He said the batteries were white hot and melted the floor tile. Lithium-ion batteries are also found in cellphones and hoverboards and have been known to overheat suddenly.

The burns on McDow’s hand and left leg kept him in the Grady Burn Center for two weeks.

Now, he faces nine months of recovery and plans to sue the battery maker, a company that hasn’t yet responded to requests for their side of the story.

Money isn’t motivating his lawsuit, McDow told Channel 2. Instead, he wants warnings on the batteries and devices that use them.

“This has to stop at some point, you know, a battery is not worth this,” McDow said. “A battery is not worth a human life. It’s not.”

MORE: Fulton man seriously burned after e-cigarette battery explodes