- - Wednesday, February 15, 2012

FLORIDA

Electric cigarette explodes in man’s mouth

PENSACOLA — A faulty battery caused an electronic cigarette to explode in a Florida’s man’s mouth, taking out some of his front teeth, a chunk of his tongue and severely burning his face, fire officials said.

Tom Holloway, 57, of Niceville, was trying to quit smoking so he was puffing on the device Monday night when it blew up, fire officials said. Officials have not identified the victim, but a Facebook page under his name was filled with well-wishers commenting on the injury and database searches matched his address with his name.

“The best analogy is like it was trying to hold a bottle rocket in your mouth when it went off,” said Joseph Parker, division chief for the North Bay Fire Department. “The battery flew out of the tube and set the closet on fire.”

Chief Parker said fire investigators do not know the brand of cigarette, type of battery or age of the device.

Fire Chief Joseph Miller said the victim contacted the department Wednesday to thank firefighters and told them he was recovering at a hospital.

KANSAS

Explosives found in vehicle near Statehouse

TOPEKA — Police arrested the owner of a suspicious vehicle parked in the Kansas Judicial Center parking lot near the Kansas Statehouse with several homemade explosives and an empty gun holder inside.

Capitol Police Spokesman Patrick Saleh said officers arrested the owner Wednesday in a state office building connected to the Statehouse by an underground tunnel. He wasn’t armed.

In what Mr. Saleh says was an unrelated incident, another man was arrested after allegedly phoning in a threat to Gov. Sam Brownback’s office from a motel.

CALIFORNIA

Architect charged with death of firefighter

LOS ANGELES — The architect of a Hollywood Hills mansion where a Los Angeles firefighter died during a blaze a year ago has been charged with involuntary manslaughter.

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