Medical Examiner: Exploding vape pen caused St. Pete man's death – ABC Action News

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — 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. 

The autopsy report says the electronic cigarette created a “projectile wound” on Wakeman’s head penetrating his skull and brain. It’s the first e-cigarette death in the United States, according to FEMA, which keeps statistics on e-cigarettes. 

The medical examiner says the vape was a Smok-E Mountain Mech Works, a type of unregulated mechanical e-cigarette, which in an online description says “does not come with safety features.”

ABC Action News found an online warning explaining that the vape is not meant for beginners.

“I just don’t think they’re safe enough,” explained Gary Wilder, the owner of Lizard Juice.

Wilder says he, and many other local store owners, won’t sell the “unregulated” e-cigarettes. Instead they turn to vapes with a

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