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Middle Tennessee man says vape pen batteries severely burned his leg

(Fox 17 News)

A middle Tennessee man suffered severe burns after he said his vape pen battery exploded in his pocket.

WARNING: This story contains images that some might find graphic.

Westmoreland resident Matt Usry said the incident happened in his hallway Friday afternoon when he heard something that sounded like a flare.

“When I heard that, it just started getting hot on my pants, and I realized that my pants were on fire, smoking,” Usry said.

He said he realized it was coming from two vape pen batteries that were loose in his pocket.

“And I tried to get them off, and I tried to slide them down my legs,” Usry said. “By the time I got them down my legs, it was too late, it had already seared the skin off my whole entire left leg.”

Usry was taken to Vanderbilt Medical Center, but refused treatment and went to Macon County General Hospital instead.

“It’s something I’ve not ever experienced,” Usry said. “It’s the first worst pain I’ve ever dealt with in my life, and I look at my leg now, and it’s deformed.”

Now, he said he’s worried about the pain, the condition of his leg, growing medical costs, and not being able to work. He also said he thinks E-Cigarette batteries need more precise labeling.

“For somebody else who’s going to go out and buy a vape, they need to know the truth that they are dangerous,” Usry said.

According to the Centers for Disease Control’s website, defective E-Cigarette batteries can cause fires and explosions, some of them serious.

According to Fox News, the CDC also advises against carrying E-Cigarette batteries loose in pockets to avoid coming in contact with coins, keys or metal objects.

Still, Usry said he never could have seen this coming.

“I’ve been vaping for five years, I’ve never had that problem before,” Usry said.

Usry is raising money to cover his medical expenses. CLICK HERE to donate.

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