Leeds & West Yorkshire

E-cigarette batteries start two fires Yorkshire

The fire damage from an exploding e-cigarette Image copyright West Yorkshire Fire
Image caption A battery exploded while charging in a bedroom in St Leonards Grove, Girlington

Two e-cigarette batteries "exploded" and started fires in two West Yorkshire homes in just 24 hours.

West Yorkshire Fire Service has warned it is now being called out to e-cigarette fires more than once a month.

In an incident in Bradford, a battery exploded and "shot across the room", coming to rest at the foot of a wardrobe, which caught fire.

And a couple in Girlington only realised their bedroom was on fire when the smoke alarm sounded.

There have been 13 e-cigarette fires in West Yorkshire in the past 12 months.

'Burning battery'

While only 0.25% of call-outs are related to e-cigarettes, the fire service has warned of a growing problem.

E-cigarette usage in the region has increased more than 300% between 2012 and 2013.

Fire Investigator Sean Fearon said: "The fire service is very concerned with the increased number of fires involving e-cigarette batteries whilst on charge.

"When the batteries fail they can explode. This generally results in burning battery materials being ejected into a room.

"Although they only burn for a short time, if they land on combustible materials like bedding or newspaper it will cause a fire to develop."

Mr Fearon also warned that using an incorrect charger could start a fire, although the Girlington battery exploded despite being plugged into the one supplied with the e-cigarette.

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