TV Producer Dies After Vape Pen Explodes

A Florida man died after his vape pen exploded and caused a massive fire in his home.

38-year-old Tallmadge Wakeman “Wake” D’Elia, died in a fire in an upstairs bedroom of his house in St. Petersburg, Florida on May 5.


His neighbor Dale Kleine noticed that there was smoke coming from out of his roof. She was hoping nobody was home, but then found out that Wake was there. Kleine said she was the first to identify his body.

According to autopsy reports, he suffered burns to 80 percent of his body and had shrapnel from the device lodged in his head after the explosion.


The e-cigarette made a ‘projectile wound’ in his skull and penetrated his brain.

The vape pen he used was created by Smok-E Mountain Mech works, a Philippines-based company that produces unregulated e-cigarettes or vape pens that do not come with safety features.


There is no known cause why the e-cigarette blew up. The company claims that the e-cigarette itself was not the reason for why it exploded, suggesting that the accident was caused by the device’s battery or atomizer.

This is not the first time that an e-cigarette has exploded. There were reportedly 200 incidents involving e-cigarettes or vape pens exploding from 2000 to 2017, according to FEMA.


This is the first time that a person was killed due to a vape pen explosion.

D’Elia previously worked for CNBC and NY1 news. He was formally recognized by CNBC numerous times for his hard work and performance and was the TV Production Supervisor for the morning business show, Squawk Box.

He is survived by his wife, Maria Lamberti, and parents, Jennifer D’Ellia and Christopher D’Elia.