Phoenix FD: faulty e-cigarette likely to blame for fire that inj - CBS 5 - KPHO

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Phoenix FD: faulty e-cigarette likely to blame for fire that injured Vietnam vet

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Courtesy of Vicki Orman Courtesy of Vicki Orman
PHOENIX (CBS5) -

CBS 5 News has told you about two different electronic cigarette-related fires, here in the Valley, during the past six months.

In April, an exploding device caused a car fire in Glendale.

Then in August, a "Smokin' T" e-cigarette is believed to have caused a small apartment fire in Phoenix.

Nobody was hurt in either of those fires.

But, now we're learning of a house fire in Phoenix last week that injured a Vietnam veteran.

Dale Orman said his wife quit smoking just a few months ago with the help of "Smokin T" e-cigarettes.

He said that same device ended up nearly taking his life and heavily damaged much of their home.

"Hell, on cigarettes they've had a warning since 1963 or1964 that it causes cancer," Orman pointed out. "They should have warnings on this. They (e-cigarettes) cause fires."

Orman blames his wife's overheated "Smokin' T" e-cigarette chargers for starting two fires in their bedroom within a matter of days.

"They just exploded," he said.

Orman said, each time, they'd only been charging for about 20-minutes.

"I asked her ‘why did you do it (buy another e-cigarette) again?" Orman said. "She said, well I thought it was okay. It wouldn't happen again. It was just a faulty one."

He said the first fire just scorched the carpet.

The second fire on Oct. 16 gutted the bedroom of their Sunnyslope area home.

The rest of the house has heavy smoke and water damage.

"I got halfway to the TV and it was four-foot of flames, four-foot of black smoke," Orman said. "I knew if I took another step, I had had it."

But, he said he was forced to go back in to the house to save a pet.

"Vicky had been squirting water from the hose into here (bedroom) and she said one of our dogs she couldn't find, so I had to go back in after her," Orman said.

Everyone made it out of the house, but, Orman spent three days in the Arizona Burn Center where he was treated for smoke inhalation.

"I'm still not feeling as good as I should," he said.

Orman is urging other people to find alternatives to e-cigarettes and manufacturers to take a close look at the safety of their products.

"They're selling unsafe stuff," he said. "I wouldn't use them. I really wouldn't, because this could happen to you."

Captain Gary Hernandez with the Phoenix Fire Department told CBS 5 News preliminary findings show all evidence and burn patterns, at the Orman home, point to a malfunction or flaw in an electronic cigarette.

CBS 5 News is awaiting a response from the manufacturer of the "Smokin' T" Smokin Time, about the safety of their product.

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