Portable charger explodes, gives local man second degree burns

Posted: Updated:
WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE) -

"It sounded like a twenty gauge shotgun going off...just flames and smoke," says Dennis Hellon.

Just over 24 hours ago, Dennis Hellon was rushed to the hospital.

"First and second degree burns all over my upper chest and neck and lower part of my face...Second degree burns on my eyelids and missing part of my lashes," he says.

Hellon was at home working when out of no where, his portable charger started smoking.

"It wasn't connected to anything. It was just sitting there," says Hellon.

Within seconds, smoke turned to flames...

"I pretty much just took five steps and got about halfway to the doorway, and it just pretty much just exploded in my hand."

Hellon says he bought the MyCharge Lithium-Ion battery from Best Buy less than a year ago. He's taken the battery on airplanes and usually carries it in his pocket. Even his kids have used it to charge their iPads.

"I actually have ran into a number of friends around the country who have had similar problems with various battery packs."

From phones, to laptops, even recently popular hover boards, Lithium-Ion batteries have a reputation of catching fire. According to Consumer Reports, they usually catch fire because of a manufacturing defect. The defect can cause a short circuit and chemicals inside can heat up. Temperatures can reach more than 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Luckily, for Hellon, his injuries were only minor, but from now on, he'll think twice before charging his phone.

"I'm not gonna let my kids handle them anymore and I'm just not sure that I'm gonna use them myself anymore...Just understand battery packs aren't nearly as safe as you think they are."

  • NEWSNewsMore>>

  • 2 critically injured in south Wichita shooting

    2 critically injured in south Wichita shooting

    At least two people have been injured in a shooting in south Wichita. Police were called around midnight Wednesday to the 1800 block of south Topeka, near Broadway and Funston. Dispatchers tell KAKE News that two people were taken to the hospital in critical condition. We have a crew heading to the scene and will bring you more information as it becomes available.

    At least two people have been injured in a shooting in south Wichita. Police were called around midnight Wednesday to the 1800 block of south Topeka, near Broadway and Funston. Dispatchers tell KAKE News that two people were taken to the hospital in critical condition. We have a crew heading to the scene and will bring you more information as it becomes available.

  • 2 more false reporting cases dropped in Kansas college town

    2 more false reporting cases dropped in Kansas college town

    Douglas County District Attorney Charles Branson (Conrad Swanson/Lawrence Journal-World)Douglas County District Attorney Charles Branson (Conrad Swanson/Lawrence Journal-World)
    Douglas County District Attorney Charles Branson (Conrad Swanson/Lawrence Journal-World)Douglas County District Attorney Charles Branson (Conrad Swanson/Lawrence Journal-World)

    Prosecutors have dropped false reporting charges against two more women who reported being sexually assaulted in Lawrence, as questions swirl around the handling of such investigations in the college town.

    Prosecutors have dropped false reporting charges against two more women who reported being sexually assaulted in Lawrence, as questions swirl around the handling of such investigations in the college town.

  • Kansas board urges schools to ban vaping, even for visitors

    Kansas board urges schools to ban vaping, even for visitors

    The Kansas State Board of Education is encouraging the state’s local public school districts to prohibit vaping and to include staff and any visitors at school activities in the ban along with students. 

    The Kansas State Board of Education is encouraging the state’s local public school districts to prohibit vaping and to include staff and any visitors at school activities in the ban along with students. 

Check out these photos from across KAKEland snapped by our viewers, staff and local officials. Do you have pictures to share with us? Email them to news@kake.com.

MORE SLIDESHOWS HERE