A professional golfer suffered third degree burns when his vape exploded and set the car on fire.
Will Hawksworth, 24, had been driving home from the supermarket with his girlfriend Molly Biney, 25, when his vape pen started sparking in his gilet pocket.
As he tried to quickly pull over, the vape’s battery exploded, setting his clothes alight and burning his chest.
The vape then fell between the seats of the Audi A5 hire car he was driving and the whole vehicle went up in flames.
Will, from Sheffield, said: ‘It felt like I was being burnt alive. It was the most painful thing you could ever imagine. My clothes burnt onto my chest and my skin was completely burnt.
‘I was terrified. I thought this was it and I could have lost my life. I’ll never go near a vape pen ever again. They are lethal.’
Will started smoking cigarettes when he was 15 and switched to a vape pen four years later in the hope that it would help him quit.
Since then, he has smoked a vape pen every day without issue – until the fire, which happened on January 21 last year.
In the days prior, he had brought brand new batteries and charged them at home before inserting them in the pen.
Describing the moment disaster struck, Will said: ‘I heard a noise that sounded like fireworks and then my gilet just burst into flames.
‘The battery blew up as I pulled over. By the time I stopped I was pretty much engulfed in flames.
‘It burnt through my clothes and fell down the side of the car seat. I got out and took my clothes off and covered myself in snow. It was agony.
‘The car just went up in flames. It was completely burnt out.’
The couple called for emergency services and Will was rushed to the Northern General Hospital, where he was treated for second and third degree burns.
He was given gel packs to sooth the pain before medics went about cleaning the wounds.
After six hours of treatment he was allowed home but continued to attend regular appointments at a burns clinic.
Will was given the option of a skin graft but turned it down as he didn’t want to create further wounds to his body.
He said: ‘My appearance does bother me, especially when I’m on holiday. My skin gets very aggravated when it’s hot. I can’t really expose it to the sun.
‘It is horrible to live with now. It could have ended so much worse. I feel lucky to be alive.’
Will has now opened a compensation claim against Efest and is hoping to take the company to court.
Efest has been contacted for a statement.