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E-cig vendors say experience matters when vaping

Two Southwest Florida men are dealing with injuries from e-cigarette explosions occurring within days of each other.

This weekend, vendors from all over the country have gathered at Harborside Event Center in downtown Fort Myers for Vape Con, an opportunity to educate e-cig users.

Vape Con organizers said accidents or explosions happen as a result of user error with mechanical mod vapes when too much power is drawn from the battery.

The vape movement is growing, but so is the number of injuries.

In less than two weeks, two men – one in Naples and one in Cape Coral – reported their e-cigs exploded, causing serious burns.

More than two dozen reports from the Food and Drug Administration indicate e-cigarettes have exploded since they became popular in 2012.

Vendors at Vape Con said the vaporizers are not to blame.

“These accidents are pure user negligence. It’s the fact that the person is not experienced with what they use and they’re not safe with it,” said Joey Jux, vice president of DUVO Life.

Jux said the easiest ways to avoid injury are to store your vape outside of your pockets, and only use mechanical mods if you’re experienced.

“I’ve never heard of an accident with someone who’s experienced with vapor,” he said.

Unlike other electronic cigarettes, mechanical mods don’t have safeguards to prevent overheating or explosion.

Those who are new to vaping are encouraged to use e-cigs that control the amount of power drawn from the battery, helping to prevent accidents.

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NBC-2 | WBBH

E-cig vendors say experience matters when vaping

Two Southwest Florida men are dealing with injuries from e-cigarette explosions occurring within days of each other.

This weekend, vendors from all over the country have gathered at Harborside Event Center in downtown Fort Myers for Vape Con, an opportunity to educate e-cig users.

– USING OUR APP? WATCH VIDEO HERE

Vape Con organizers said accidents or explosions happen as a result of user error with mechanical mod vapes when too much power is drawn from the battery.

The vape movement is growing, but so is the number of injuries.

In less than two weeks, two men – one in Naples and one in Cape Coral – reported their e-cigs exploded, causing serious burns.

More than two dozen reports from the Food and Drug Administration indicate e-cigarettes have exploded since they became popular in 2012.

Vendors at Vape Con said the vaporizers are not to blame.

“These accidents are pure user negligence. It’s the fact that the person is not experienced with what they use and they’re not safe with it,” said Joey Jux, vice president of DUVO Life.

Jux said the easiest ways to avoid injury are to store your vape outside of your pockets, and only use mechanical mods if you’re experienced.

“I’ve never heard of an accident with someone who’s experienced with vapor,” he said.

Unlike other electronic cigarettes, mechanical mods don’t have safeguards to prevent overheating or explosion.

Those who are new to vaping are encouraged to use e-cigs that control the amount of power drawn from the battery, helping to prevent accidents.

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Cape Coral couple rebuilds home, Halloween display

A Cape Coral couple watched a fire destroy their home and their Halloween decorations in 2012, but they are determined to continue their tricky tradition.

It’s a tedious task. Debbie Yasbeck and her husband, Paul, spend hours preparing their home for Halloween. They are forced to dig the graves and weave the webs in less than 48 hours. The weather is always a threat, but three years ago, the Yasbecks faced a more threatening monster.

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“It was just devastating,” Debbie said. “We used to wallpaper the entire house with a plastic, vinyl cemetery scene and that is what caught on fire and it caught the boxes in the driveway.”

The flames spread to the garage and then to the roof of their home.

“My dog actually woke us up,” she said. “And we sat out here and watched it burn.”

Her neighbor, Karen Ramos, remembers the flashing lights from the firetrucks. She refers to it as a nightmare.   

“It was very, very sad,” Ramos said. “It was a day or two before Halloween. Everything was up in smoke.”

The home burned to the ground along with $10,000 in Halloween decorations.

“That Halloween night, we sat outside with our candy and we agreed, if we do not start now, then we probably would not do it again,” Debbie said. “So we started building it back up.”

It took her husband one year to rebuild the home and they’re working to restore their Halloween collection. Yasbeck said they love it but they decorate their home for the children in their Cape Coral neighborhood.

“They laugh and they scream. We know they are going to be there and that’s what we look forward to.”

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Sinkhole near Tampa grows larger

SEFFNER (WFLA) — The sinkhole that opened up in Seffner near two homes Friday grew larger overnight Sunday, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office Rapid Response team.

The gigantic sinkhole emerged right outside a home, just off Peach Avenue and Clay Pitt Road, measuring in at 22 feet wide and 27 feet deep as of Friday night. The sinkhole is located on private land between two properties, which means the homeowners are responsible for dealing with the mess, not Hillsborough County, although officials are still keeping a close eye on the situation.

Deputies said, the hole grew 2 feet larger and is now closer to the duplex. They didn’t release any information about the hole depth change.

Deputies are patrolling the area. They have put up new signs because some neighborhood teenagers tried to get into the hole last night.

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Lee deputies locate missing man

UPDATE: Deputies report Jean has been located safe and sound.

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EARLIER: The Lee County Sheriff’s Office requests the public’s assistance in locating a missing person who suffers from dementia.

Jean Hugo Charles Pierre, 74, was last seen by his caretaker on Friday morning. The caretaker left to do some errands, and upon her return Jean was gone.

Pierre is a black male with grey hair and brown eyes. He is 5’9” tall and weighs approximately 150 lbs.

Information was received that Jean was given a ride to a market on Fowler Street in Fort Myers at approximately 2:30 p.m. Friday.

The caretaker advised it appears Jean changed his shirt prior to leaving, so she could not advise what color or style shirt Jean may be wearing. However, he should be wearing gray pants. It also appears Jean may have taken some blue shorts with him.

If you should spot or locate Jean please call the Lee County Sheriff’s Office at (239) 477-1000 and report his location. 

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Former Rays pitcher Bush released from Fla. prison

A former minor league baseball player was released from prison Friday after serving nearly three years for causing a crash that left a man seriously injured in Charlotte County.

Matt Bush, 29, had been incarcerated since 2012 at Hamilton Correctional Institution in Jasper, Fla.

Bush agreed to a plea deal in 2012. He was accused of running over a motorcyclist in Port Charlotte and fleeing the scene, all while he was drunk.

The victim, Tony Tufano, spent weeks in the hospital recovering from serious injuries. The Tufanos settled a lawsuit in the case for what was believed to be $400,000.

Bush was the No. 1 draft pick in 2004, and at the time of the crash was playing with the Tampa Bay Rays, who were then training in Port Charlotte.

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AAA offers free tow for a safe trip home on Halloween

AAA is offering its Tow to Go program for Halloween.

Whether you are a AAA member or not, you can call for a free ride anytime through Saturday night. AAA will then safely transport you and your vehicle home or somewhere safe within 10 miles.

Save this number in your phone before you head out: (855) 2-TOW-2-GO or (855) 286-9246

Tow to Go services:

  • Confidential local ride within a 10-mile radius to a safe location 
  • Free and available to AAA members and non-members
  • The AAA service vehicle transports the driver and their car

AAA reports that 43% of all road deaths on Halloween involved drunk driving, according to the last five years of reported data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

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Baby gator found in car during Cape Coral traffic stop

A Cape Coral police officer made an unusual discovery during a traffic stop: a foot-long alligator.

According to CCPD, the occupants of the car said they had just rescued it from an intersection and were going to release it somewhere safe.

“Unbeknownst to the good Samaritans, possession of a gator without proper licensing is against the law,” CCPD said. “Fortunately, our friends at FWC were more than happy to come out and take custody of this little guy and safely relocate him.”

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Atlas V rocket launches from Cape Canaveral

The Atlas V rocket launched from Cape Canaveral Saturday afternoon.

It was supposed to launch Friday, but a faulty valve in the launch pad’s water suppression system forced it to be postponed.

Liftoff went off without a hitch around 12:15.

On board was a GPS satellite for the U.S. Air Force designed to improve navigational data for troops around the world.

If you managed to snap a photo of the launch, share it with nbc-2.com on Instagram @nbc2, or on Facebook

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2 killed in crash on Alligator Alley in Collier

Two people were killed in a single-vehicle crash on Interstate 75 in Collier County early Saturday.

Troopers on scene said a car traveling westbound on I-75 near milemarker 98 ran off the road, lost control and eventually struck a tree.

There were five occupants in the car driven by Patrick Simmons, of Lauderhill. He is in critical condition at Lee Memorial. His brother, Joseph Graham, of Miami is in serious condition at NCH in Naples. Their mother, Patricia Ann Trody, 65, of Lauderhill, was taken to Lee Memorial Hospital, where she died. Graham’s girlfriend, Sandra Long, 46, of Miami, died at the scene. Another passenger, Ta’shi Scott, 13, of Lauderhill, was ejected from the car and is in a Miami hospital in serious condition.

Simmons, Graham and Trody were wearing seatbelts, FHP said.

FHP said the family was traveling from Miami to Tampa.

The crash occurred around 3:30 a.m. FHP said the investigation is ongoing, but alcohol is not believed to have been a factor.