PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) –
An Oregon teenager said his e-cigarette blew up in his face, and now he’s in Portland recovering.
Blake Chastain was left with second-degree burns on his hand, a scorched face and knocked-out teeth, and he said he nearly lost his left eye.
At 17-years old, he’s not even old enough to legally smoke, but Chastain said he’s thankful to be alive.
The Baker City teen said he had just bought the e-cigarette a week ago and that it was up to his lips when it exploded Wednesday.
“It sounded like a grenade went off,” he said. “I touched it to my lips, and I pressed it at the same time, it just went boom.”
One look at Chastain’s face and injuries give a sense of the sheer power behind the explosion. The teen said he’s in an incredible amount of pain.
“I have a fracture here, and here,” Chastain told FOX 12 he has fractures throughout his face, and he will likely be spending many hours in a dentist’s office in the future.
“I actually had one of my teeth shoot into the roof of my mouth, it didn’t come out, it shot up in the middle of the roof,” he said. “My teeth… a couple are missing, a couple are broken. The rest are kind of’ braced on because they were completely pushed backward.”
Chastain noted his hand with second-degree burns is causing the most pain.
“I don’t know if it’s that bad compared to other burns but it’s scary to look at,” he said.
Chastain said he’s thankful he still has both eyes, though.
“It’s really burnt,” he explained. “Apparently, on my eyeball, it’s as if sandpaper had gone over it.”
He said the explosion happened at his work near Redmond, adding that everything went blurry the moment it happened. He said after the blast, his ears were ringing as he screamed for help.
“I hadn’t felt it yet, I was still in shock,” Chastain recalled. “Everything was still numb because it was so bad.”
A medical helicopter brought him to Oregon Health and Science University, where doctors helped save his left eye
Unfortunately, Chastain isn’t the first victim of this type of incident. Similar stories have surfaced across the country with different cases of e-cigarettes exploding unexpectedly.
“You know in movies how you see people and watch a grenade go off, seems like that happened,” he said. “My ears were ringing really bad.”
Chastain told FOX 12 the experience has turned him away from using e-cigarettes.
“I don’t even want to be in the same room as them,” he said. “I’ve had a lot of friends throw their’s away already, and I’ve had people message me from all over the world making sure I’m ok and stuff.”
Bonnie Silkman/Fox 12 Oregon