Family's Lucky Escape After Exploding E-Cigarette Destroys Their Home - And Christmas Presents

A family's Christmas went up in flames after their home was destroyed when an electronic cigarette exploded.

Terry Skinner, 25, had put his kids, three-year-old on Logan and one-year-old daughter Sapphire, to bed before he charged up his e-cig and joined fiancée Tara Austin, 22, to watch TV on Sunday.

Moments later, there was a huge bang.

Terry told his local paper: "I'd put my kids to bed and put the e-cigarette on charge.

"About five minutes later I heard a bang, I just assumed it was our neighbours moving things about. I heard another bang so went upstairs and opened our bedroom door to find the blaze."

The family managed to escape the fire unharmed but they lost everything in the upstairs bedroom - including gifts for their children.

They have now moved in with Tara's mum in Sittingbourne, Kent, and kind neighbours, friends and family have rallied round to offer up clothes, nappies and presents.

Kent Fire and Rescue Service Manager Andy Bridger-Smart said: "When we arrived we were faced with a fire well alight in the front bedroom. The fire caused 80 per cent damage to the room; the rest of the upstairs has extensive smoke damage.

"This is extremely sad for the family, especially as young children are involved and so soon before Christmas. The devastating effects of fire in the home can be life changing.

"It is something that could happen to anyone if the wrong charger is used for an electrical device and the internal battery cannot handle a different voltage - it can catch fire."

Thanking the generous gift-givers, Terry said: "They've been absolutely brilliant. So generous. It's good to know there are people out there willing to help others in a time of crisis.

"I just want to let them know how grateful and thankful we are. Words can't describe. There are a lot more kindhearted people out there than you think.

"It's just one of them shocking things that you don't realise is going to happen to you."