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E-cigarette explodes, burns student at Erie 1 BOCES in West Seneca

A 21-year-old student remains in the Burn Treatment ICU at Erie County Medical Center after his e-cigarette caught fire Friday in the hallway of the Erie 1 BOCES Center, reported West Seneca police.

The student was listed in good condition and is being treated for burns to both hands, said Lt. David L. Szmania. Police are not releasing the young man's name.

The incident occurred at 11:10 a.m. at the BOCES Career and Technical Center, 705 Potters Road.

"He was walking down the hall and he had the e-cigarette in his pant pocket when it started to get warm," Szmania said. "So he pulled it out of his pocket, and he attempted to remove the battery when it exploded in his hand."

"He wasn't smoking it or anything," said Szmania. "He said it just felt like it was getting warm."

Police said the student was burned when he tried to put out the fire.

"Staff came out and extinguished the fire," said Szmania. "The student was taken to the nurse's office and an ambulance was called. Both of his hands were burned."

Serious burns from e-cigarettes are being seen with greater frequency, according to a 2017 report from the National Institutes of Health, which said the most common injuries occur when the cigarette batteries explode while the users are carrying the devices "on personal attire."

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