VIDEO: E-cigarette explodes in packed Richmond pub and sets barmaid on fire

VIDEO: E-cigarette explodes in packed Richmond pub and sets barmaid on fire

The e-cigarette explodes next to Laura Baty

The e-cigarette explodes next to Laura Baty

Laura Baty runs from the flames in shock

Laura Baty runs from the flames in shock

Laura Baty with fellow barman Stewart Paterson

First published in News
Last updated

THIS is the moment a North Yorkshire barmaid narrowly escaped when an e-cigarette exploded in flames in a packed pub and rocketed towards her.

Shocked Laura Baty, 18, was serving a customer when she heard a huge bang and saw the device shoot in her direction.

The flames singed her arms and set her dress on fire as she tried to get out of the way.

The sizzling e-cig - which had been on charge behind the bar - then landed on the floor and scorched the vinyl tiles before burning itself out.

Part of it also hit at customer at the Buck Inn Hotel in Richmond, North Yorks., and left him with a red mark in his stomach.

Laura said: "I was about to give somebody their change and I heard the bang. I could see the fire coming at me and I felt the heat as I ran away.

"I started crying hysterically and my arm was all black. My dress caught on fire as I ran away and I just didn't know what was happening.

"A customer came and took me in to the bathroom to calm me down. She washed down my arm which was all black and I still didn't know what had happened."

Darlington and Stockton Times:
The remnants of the e-cigarette which exploded

Laura, who has worked at the pub for nearly two years, was badly shaken by the explosion on Saturday.

She added: "I thought the fuse-box had blown up or a firework had gone off.

"Everybody was just so shocked."

The e-cigarette belonged to fellow barman Stewart Paterson, 21, who has been trying to quit smoking since December last year.

Darlington and Stockton Times:
The Buck in Richmond, North Yorkshire

He said: "I put the e-cigarette on charge in my iPad charger, which I have done countless times before.

"I heard a huge bang that sounded like a firework. I turned around to see a ball of fire weaving about."

The incident was captured on the pub's CCTV camera.

Mr Paterson added: "I just keep thinking what if this had happened while I was charging it at home. I might have been out and the damage could have been horrendous.

"When I looked back at the footage I saw how close the fireball came to Laura's head. If she was stood a couple of inches to the right she could have been badly hurt."

Alyson Down, Community Safety Officer at North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue, said: "The advice we give is to make sure you are nearby if you are charging up any product that requires charging from the mains.

"We strongly recommend people to not leave devices that are charging up unattended."

Richmond Fire Officer and Crew Manager Steve Bake, added: "It's very concerning.

"If that had happened in someone's house, it could have set curtains or
furniture ablaze so there is a clearly a big risk here. Especially if someone has no smoke detectors."

A spokeswoman for the manufacturer of the battery said: "We provide clear information on websites and in electronic cigarette starter kits that explain how our batteries should be charged and cared for.

"We cannot comment on the circumstance of this particular instance or make any comment on the provenance of this battery. However, it does not appear that a dedicated electronic cigarette charger was used.

"A number of independent organisations, including the fire service, have reiterated warnings that charging lithium batteries incorrectly and failing to take necessary care of these devices can lead to catastrophic failure."

Tom Pruen, chief scientific officer at the Electronic Cigarette Industry Trade Association, said: "There have been some instances of batteries failing and catching fire, similar to the way mobile phones and laptops can, because of the lithium ion battery.

"The key things to remember are to take care not to screw the charger in too far, which can break the e-cigarette, not to use a charger with too much power; and not to leave it unattended.

"It might also be worth getting a charging bag for extra safety - and make sure you buy e-cigarettes from a reputable seller."

North Yorkshire Trading Standards said it was not investigating e-cigarettes but would look into the matter if it was brought to its attention.

Comments (14)

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12:14pm Tue 8 Apr 14

darloboss says...

it went up in a puff of smoke
it went up in a puff of smoke darloboss
  • Score: -16

12:21pm Tue 8 Apr 14

Voice-of-reality says...

If the smoking ban had not been put in place.....
If the smoking ban had not been put in place..... Voice-of-reality
  • Score: -27

12:42pm Tue 8 Apr 14

Homshaw1 says...

The more expensive batteries have a fuse mechanism built in but there are a lot of poorer quality e-cigarettes around.
The more expensive batteries have a fuse mechanism built in but there are a lot of poorer quality e-cigarettes around. Homshaw1
  • Score: 9

12:46pm Tue 8 Apr 14

Mr A says...

Ban them, people should either quit smoking or not.

That is there choice but e-cigarettes need banning full stop. I wonder how many other avoidable accidents there have been with e-cigs?
Ban them, people should either quit smoking or not. That is there choice but e-cigarettes need banning full stop. I wonder how many other avoidable accidents there have been with e-cigs? Mr A
  • Score: -16

12:50pm Tue 8 Apr 14

Topcat28 says...

Mr A wrote:
Ban them, people should either quit smoking or not.

That is there choice but e-cigarettes need banning full stop. I wonder how many other avoidable accidents there have been with e-cigs?
Slightly excessive but do think that more research is needed into both hardware and the long term chemical effects.
[quote][p][bold]Mr A[/bold] wrote: Ban them, people should either quit smoking or not. That is there choice but e-cigarettes need banning full stop. I wonder how many other avoidable accidents there have been with e-cigs?[/p][/quote]Slightly excessive but do think that more research is needed into both hardware and the long term chemical effects. Topcat28
  • Score: 4

1:00pm Tue 8 Apr 14

Darkroom Devil says...

I wonder if it had been "P.A.T." tested prior to being plugged into the works electrics?
I wonder if it had been "P.A.T." tested prior to being plugged into the works electrics? Darkroom Devil
  • Score: 6

1:12pm Tue 8 Apr 14

Dragonmum says...

The clue here is that it was on charge behind the bar - sounds like the kind of thing that can happen with any electronic appliance, especially if used with wrong charger. The more people learn about their e-cig the less often this will happen, but accidents DO happen. Please don't **** something that has the potential to save literally millions of lives because of one incident. How many people were injured last year in fires caused by cigarettes? At least one fatality in my area. All the chemical analysis has come up positive Topcat, and it's extensive - orders of magnitude safer than smoking. In the 4 years I've used them - lots of scaremongering but no-one died.
The clue here is that it was on charge behind the bar - sounds like the kind of thing that can happen with any electronic appliance, especially if used with wrong charger. The more people learn about their e-cig the less often this will happen, but accidents DO happen. Please don't **** something that has the potential to save literally millions of lives because of one incident. How many people were injured last year in fires caused by cigarettes? At least one fatality in my area. All the chemical analysis has come up positive Topcat, and it's extensive - orders of magnitude safer than smoking. In the 4 years I've used them - lots of scaremongering but no-one died. Dragonmum
  • Score: 10

3:44pm Tue 8 Apr 14

Bobw1951 says...

Mr A wrote:
Ban them, people should either quit smoking or not.

That is there choice but e-cigarettes need banning full stop. I wonder how many other avoidable accidents there have been with e-cigs?
Typical knee jerk reaction, just because there are some poorly made e-cigs, or people who need educating in how to charge and use them, let's BAN them altogether, get a life. There is nothing wrong with vaping, the vapour is not dangerous, and neither is the liquid, providing people treat is as a toxic substance and keep it locked away from inquisitive children and pets.
[quote][p][bold]Mr A[/bold] wrote: Ban them, people should either quit smoking or not. That is there choice but e-cigarettes need banning full stop. I wonder how many other avoidable accidents there have been with e-cigs?[/p][/quote]Typical knee jerk reaction, just because there are some poorly made e-cigs, or people who need educating in how to charge and use them, let's BAN them altogether, get a life. There is nothing wrong with vaping, the vapour is not dangerous, and neither is the liquid, providing people treat is as a toxic substance and keep it locked away from inquisitive children and pets. Bobw1951
  • Score: 3

4:37pm Tue 8 Apr 14

DarloXman says...

To be fair you have to be an idiot to want to either smoke of use one of these e-cigarette. Might as well play marbles on a motorway!
To be fair you have to be an idiot to want to either smoke of use one of these e-cigarette. Might as well play marbles on a motorway! DarloXman
  • Score: -6

5:55pm Tue 8 Apr 14

thetruthyoucanthandlethetruth says...

Bobw1951 wrote:
Mr A wrote:
Ban them, people should either quit smoking or not.

That is there choice but e-cigarettes need banning full stop. I wonder how many other avoidable accidents there have been with e-cigs?
Typical knee jerk reaction, just because there are some poorly made e-cigs, or people who need educating in how to charge and use them, let's BAN them altogether, get a life. There is nothing wrong with vaping, the vapour is not dangerous, and neither is the liquid, providing people treat is as a toxic substance and keep it locked away from inquisitive children and pets.
The vapour is not dangerous you say, but it needs to be treated as a toxic substance and kept away from children.

Not sure how you square that circle.

These things are a nuisance and definitely need banning from pubs and other public places.
[quote][p][bold]Bobw1951[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Mr A[/bold] wrote: Ban them, people should either quit smoking or not. That is there choice but e-cigarettes need banning full stop. I wonder how many other avoidable accidents there have been with e-cigs?[/p][/quote]Typical knee jerk reaction, just because there are some poorly made e-cigs, or people who need educating in how to charge and use them, let's BAN them altogether, get a life. There is nothing wrong with vaping, the vapour is not dangerous, and neither is the liquid, providing people treat is as a toxic substance and keep it locked away from inquisitive children and pets.[/p][/quote]The vapour is not dangerous you say, but it needs to be treated as a toxic substance and kept away from children. Not sure how you square that circle. These things are a nuisance and definitely need banning from pubs and other public places. thetruthyoucanthandlethetruth
  • Score: 2

6:51pm Tue 8 Apr 14

The opinionator says...

I work for a fire service in the south and although we are a small brigade we have already experienced 5 fires involving e-cigs whilst charging. Please do not leave these unattended whilst under charge also do not over-charge eg leave them overnight. Our brigade is gathering evidence on these items and I guarantee you will see more safety information on this issue in the not to distant future. Most importantly make sure you have a working smoke alarm on every level of your property and that you test it regularly.
I work for a fire service in the south and although we are a small brigade we have already experienced 5 fires involving e-cigs whilst charging. Please do not leave these unattended whilst under charge also do not over-charge eg leave them overnight. Our brigade is gathering evidence on these items and I guarantee you will see more safety information on this issue in the not to distant future. Most importantly make sure you have a working smoke alarm on every level of your property and that you test it regularly. The opinionator
  • Score: 6

8:05pm Tue 8 Apr 14

bazza09011946 says...

I am also a member of the Fire & Rescue Service(here in Cheshire) and we have also had several similar incidents..our neighbouring service, Derbyshire had a fatal fire recently involving an e-cig. It is essential to use the correct charger....it would seem like I-Pad chargers are too powerful for the e-cigs.
There is also a product recall on one type of e-cig....
eGo-T Electronic cigarette kit PRODUCT RECALL !!!!!
Electronic cigarette kit supplied in a plastic blister pack with cardboard backing. E-cigarette has blue plastic and metal body with black plastic mouth-piece, and is supplied with a USB charger.
Risk: Cut-off device in charger may fail to operate, potentially overcharging the battery in the e-cigarette and creating a risk of overheating, fire and explosion. What to do: The manufacturer may not have provided a way to exchange your product. This product is dangerous, please stop using it immediately. Electrical Safety First recommends that anyone who discovers they have an electrical item that has been recalled should stop using it until it has been checked by the manufacturer.
I am also a member of the Fire & Rescue Service(here in Cheshire) and we have also had several similar incidents..our neighbouring service, Derbyshire had a fatal fire recently involving an e-cig. It is essential to use the correct charger....it would seem like I-Pad chargers are too powerful for the e-cigs. There is also a product recall on one type of e-cig.... eGo-T Electronic cigarette kit PRODUCT RECALL !!!!! Electronic cigarette kit supplied in a plastic blister pack with cardboard backing. E-cigarette has blue plastic and metal body with black plastic mouth-piece, and is supplied with a USB charger. Risk: Cut-off device in charger may fail to operate, potentially overcharging the battery in the e-cigarette and creating a risk of overheating, fire and explosion. What to do: The manufacturer may not have provided a way to exchange your product. This product is dangerous, please stop using it immediately. Electrical Safety First recommends that anyone who discovers they have an electrical item that has been recalled should stop using it until it has been checked by the manufacturer. bazza09011946
  • Score: 5

11:39am Wed 9 Apr 14

MossManYfronts says...

BAN CHARGERS AND BAN ELECTRICITY!!!
BAN CHARGERS AND BAN ELECTRICITY!!! MossManYfronts
  • Score: -4

12:20pm Wed 9 Apr 14

Homshaw1 says...

I put the e-cigarette on charge in my iPad charger

Ipad charger ????
I put the e-cigarette on charge in my iPad charger Ipad charger ???? Homshaw1
  • Score: 1

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