Mum ‘lucky to be alive’ after vape battery exploded in coat pocket and ‘burst into flames’
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One mum had the shock of her life after her vape battery exploded in her coat pocket and 'burst into flames'.
Leeanne Anderson, who hails from Camberley in Surrey, was left 'lucky to be alive' following the freak accident late last month (30 January).
Recounting the terrifying ordeal, the mum-of-two said: "I was literally out of hospital for an hour, went to my sister's to collect my dog when it happened. It all happened so fast.
"I sat down and my sister was just about to hand me my cup of coffee when all hell broke loose."
As if 'out of nowhere', Leeanne recalled, there was a 'big explosion noise'.
"I was still quite out of it from my surgery so didn't really know what was going on," she continued. "Then my coat just lit up in flames. My brother-in-law saw that and threw me across the sofa and my sister was there trying to rip my coat off me because one side was completely melted.
"When they got all my clothes off me, my sister ran me straight upstairs and threw me in the bath. My brother-in-law ripped my sling off me because it was in flames.
"The flames were getting higher and higher. They went from my knee up to my shoulder - the whole length of my coat."
The discombobulated mum quickly realised her rechargeable e-cigarette battery was the alleged culprit behind the unexpected fire, which left her with 'completely charred skin' as her sister Elizabeth Parker and brother-in-law Alan Parker worked desperately to put out the fire.
Leeanne said her whole leg was 'completely charred' as well as suffering burns on her stomach and her left hand.
"It was like someone had put a flame-thrower on my hand - it was so painful," she said.
"It was only when my brother-in-law said 'where's your vape' and it was on the sofa but I had the battery in my pocket and he said 'that's what happened'.
"When I looked at it, there was no battery left at all - just sheets of copper welded to the carpet and my coat."
Following an assessment at Frimley Park Hospital in Camberley, Leeanne had her left hand bandaged and has to return to the hospital to have the wounds re-dressed.
The mum said the incident has left her feeling 'lucky to be alive', saying: "You never expect something like this to happen to you. It scared me but I was more worried about my sister. She saw one of her loved ones literally on fire.
"I feel lucky to be alive. What if I was asleep when it happened? Would I have woken up? All those things go through your head.
"If it wasn't for my sister and brother-in-law, it would've been a whole different story."
Now, Leeanne is using the traumatic ordeal to warn others about the dangers of keeping e-cigarette batteries in pockets.
She admitted: "I was unaware of the dangers of batteries. It's actually quite scary, especially for all the youngsters using vapes.
"My advice would be never put a vape battery in your pocket, always use a carry case for them, and if you do, never put them near your keys, phone or money, it can set the battery off inside.
"I'll never put a battery in my pocket ever again."