Missoula County Courthouse Evacuated After E-Cig Explosion
An exploding e-cigarette apparently put a halt in the workday of Missoula County Courthouse employees on Wednesday, October 15.
"I glanced outside and saw that there were a bunch of people from the County Attorney's Office standing by the bus depot over behind the County Courthouse," said Missoula County Sheriff's Department Public Information Officer Paige Pavalone. "There was a lot of construction going on around the building and it was very noisy, apparently, there were fire alarms going on, but not very a lot of people heard them."
Sheriff Carl Ibsen told his department to evacuate. Outside, employees were able to get a better idea of what had triggered the fire alarm.
"It turns out that someone's e-cigarette had exploded in their purse, burned through their purse, and actually burned a hole in the carpet," Pavalone said. "It happened in one of the departments in the first floor of our building."
The Missoula Fire Department investigated the explosion and allowed workers back in after about 20 minutes. Batteries inside some e-cigs can burn out if coupled with the wrong charger. It is not clear if that is what happened in this instance, but it is certainly not the first case of an exploding e-cig.