STAFFORDSHIRE firefighters are warning of the risks of using the wrong chargers with E-cigarettes following a house fire in Trentham.
The family affected by the fire contacted the fire service after they heard of a death in Merseyside last week which has been linked to an E-cigarette exploding.
A fire broke out in a first floor bedroom of the Trentham family's Stone Road home after an E-cigarette was plugged into a travel adapter with a USB port.
Just 10 minutes after it had been plugged in, the upstairs smoke alarm activated and the residents went to investigate.
They were met by flames of up to 18 inches high which were next to the socket. Clothes were hanging immediately above the fire but luckily they had not been set alight.
Householder Richard McGinley, who was wearing work boots, managed to stamp out the fire before it was able to spread.
He said: "This was a really frightening experience and we were very lucky that it was not more serious. The E-cigarette had been on charge for less than 10 minutes but the amount of damage that it caused when it exploded is quite shocking.
"If it hadn’t been for our first floor smoke alarm going off, the consequences could have been far more severe and the damage might not have been limited to the floor boards and walls."
Technical Fire Safety and Fire Investigation Lead Paul Shaw added: "This fire highlights just how vital it is to have working smoke alarms throughout your property. If the owners had not been alerted to the situation as quickly as they were, the fire could have rapidly spread, causing serious damage to the property at the very least and at the worst, putting lives at serious risk.
"It also serves as a stark reminder never to use chargers that are not compatible with the specific electrical equipment – the reaction can quite literally be explosive."
The incident follows a similar fire in Newcastle-under-Lyme,last month, which killed a family’s pet cat, two chipmunks and a ferret.
Firefighters are urging anyone concerned about fire safety to book a free Home Fire Risk Check by calling Freephone 0800 0241 999, text 07528 983101 or visit www.staffordshirefire.gov.uk/bookyourhfrc.asp