PENSACOLA, FL -

A strange accident had left a Niceville man with severe injuries and burns. Tom Holloway was smoking an electronic cigarette when it blew up in his face.

Holloway was a photographer, a Vietnam Veteran and a father of three.

"Just a super nice guy, and he's had some health problems with his lungs and so he, he quit smoking," Holloway's neighbor Wendy Jensen said.

On Monday evening, Halloway's wife heard a loud noise from the study. His cigarette had exploded.

"She said that it sounded like a firecracker, and it was just a horrible noise, and she heard him scream and she ran in there," Jensen said.

The debris that flew around the room was so hot, it melted everything it touched.

"What we believe was in the battery, and whenever the battery ignited, it was basically like him holding a bottle rocket in his mouth," Chief Butch Parker of the North Bay Fire District said.

"It exploded in his face, and it knocked out all his teeth and part of his tongue and he had blood all over his face, and it set the study on fire," Jensen said.

Holloway has been transferred to a burn center, Jensen added.

It was impossible to tell the brand of the electronic cigarette, firefighters said. This was the first time they've heard of one exploding.

"O,h it's horrible, we were just up all night thinking about it," Jensen said. "It's horrible."