An Atlanta woman says she is lucky to be alive after an electronic cigarette she was charging in her computer's USB port exploded — and burned a hole in her rug.
"If I hadn't had been home, I would have lost my dogs, I would have lost my cats, I would have lost my house," Elizabeth Wilkowski told WSB-TV. "It was like, 'Kaboom!' And I see this flame shooting across my living room."
Wilkowski says she used a cleaning rag to grab the e-cigarette and extinguish the flame.
The store where she bought the device — a smoke-free cigarette that delivers a nicotine kick in a cool mist — said it no longer carries the eHit brand e-cigarette, which is made in China by Shenzhen Seego Technology.
According to the Tobacco Vapor Electronic Cigarette Association, there are more than 3.5 million e-cigarettes in use in the United States.
A spokesman for the association told the Daily Mail there have been just two reported fire incidents involving e-cigarettes since 2007.
In February, a 57-year-old Florida man suffered severe injuries when an e-cigarette blew up in his face. Fire officials say the explosion was caused by a faulty battery.