Friday, August 8, 2014 On July 31, 2014, Station 23 responded to a reported car fire at the Quaker Bridge Mall, Lawrenceville, NJ. Upon arrival a Pontiac G-6 was parked in a spot next to another vehicle. All the windows were covered in soot and the fire was self extinguished. There was heavy fire damage to the lower portion of the rear passenger door on the driver side as well as the seat. Heat damage was observed directly above the seat and door. The point of origin being the rear seat.
The occupant of the vehicle stated that she quit smoking but now uses an electronic cigarette (V2 Electronic cigarette) which she placed in the front cigarette charger of the vehicle. She was not using the original charger, rather an after market charger she purchased at a local flea market. Occupant further stated that it was charging for approximately two hours while she was shopping.
The electronic cigarette was filled with soot and the end cap was located on the seat and was partially melted and soot covered.
I determined that the electronic cigarette was overcharged causing a fire and embers landed on the rear seat along with the end cap.
I did some further research and found that this is common with use of after market charging systems. There is also a video on YouTube where a bartended was burned after the electronic cigarette which was charging on the bar basically exploded causing a flash fire.
The local fire marshal agreed with my determination and the fires is accidential.
I thought this would be a good experience to share with the IAAI since these electronic cigarettes have become extremely common.
Any questions or comments please let me know.
Det. Gary M. Wasko- IAAI-CFI