Exploding e-cigarette kills Texas man, authorities say

/ CBS News

Fort Worth, Texas — An e-cigarette is being blamed for the death of a Fort Worth man, CBS Dallas reports. His family said a vape pen exploded while he was trying to use it.

William Eric Brown "had a future ahead of him; a life ahead of him," Alice Brown remarked to the station about her grandson. She raised him.

The Tarrant County Medical Examiner said the 24-year-died January 29 from a stroke caused by a severed artery from a vaporizer pen explosion.

The explosion happened in the parking lot of a Fort Worth vape shop on January 27.

William Eric Brown in undated family photo CBS Dallas

Smoke and Vape DZ told CBS Dallas that Brown didn't buy anything, but wanted help using a Mechanical Mod style vape pen. The manager said they don't sell the brand because it's been known to have issues.

The shop manager said he called an ambulance when people in the shop saw Brown in trouble in the parking lot.

"That went across his lip, apparently somehow, and cut his lip," said Brown's grandmother. "That three-piece thing went into his throat and stayed there, and that's what (doctors) should have taken out as soon as they got to the hospital, and they decided to wait until Monday or Tuesday."

Brown was taken to John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth by ambulance.

His family said doctors took X-rays and knew Brown had a piece of e-cigarette lodged in his throat and put him in a medically-induced coma, but never operated on him.

JPS said it couldn't discuss specifics due to privacy laws, but added in a statement that, "We hold ourselves to the highest standards in providing high-quality healthcare and will take family concerns seriously as we review all that transpired."

"Murder. Not quite 25-years-old, and he should have had a long life ahead of him," said Alice. "He should have made it if they had done the surgery."

His grandmother said Tarrant County investigators told her the issue is the battery on the device.

The Food and Drug Administration has warned about the dangers of exploding e-cigarettes.

Brown's grandmother said she's not interested in suing because it won't bring him back.

First published on February 5, 2019

© 2019 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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