An exploding E-cigarette is believed to be the source of a house fire in the Wirral, where an elderly man was found dead.
Merseyside Police are treating the death of the 62-year-old man as non-suspicious, though the cause of death has not yet been confirmed.
The man’s body was found in his front room when police called fire-fighters to a property in Wallasey, where there had been a small bedroom fire, the Liverpool Echo reports.
But fire investigators believe the fire was caused when an exploding E-cigarette managed to ignite the oxygen held within a piece of medical equipment in the man’s bedroom. The blaze had been extinguished before fire-fighters arrived.
“The 62-year-old was discovered in the living room of the property,” a spokeswoman for Merseyside Fire and Rescue told the paper.
“Whilst the exact cause of death is yet to be established, the subsequent fire investigation identified that an E-cigarette had been charging in the bedroom exploded, caught fire and ignited the oxygen tube of any oxygen concentrator, which may have been in use by the occupier.
“There was a small amount of smoke damage to the property.”
The recent incident is believed to mark the ninth fire caused by E-cigarettes in the Merseyside area since January last year. It has caused Merseyside Police to launch a “huge reassurance campaign” in addition to issuing safety advice on the use of E-cigarettes.
Area manager Myles Platt said: “The investigation into the cause of this fire is continuing but at this stage it is thought that the charging device being used at the time may not have been the one supplied with the E-cigarette.
“We urge people to always use electrical equipment in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions and guidance, always ensure that no electrical items are left charging overnight or left unattended for a long period when being charged and do not mix parts from different E-Cigarettes.”
Fire-fighters are carrying out community reassurance visits to highlight home fire safety in the area on Friday.
An inquest will be held to determine the cause of death of the 62-year-old man.