A Barnstaple man has spoken out to warn others after his vape machine almost burned his house down.

Steve Williams was sat in his living room when the device suddenly began belching black smoke and burned a mark into his television stand.

He had bought the Wismec RX Gen3 Vape in September 2017 from the Barnstaple Vape Town store.

The incident at the home he shares with his wife left the device burnt out but Mr Williams fears if he had not been there it could have been much worse, yet he says the shop does not seem to want to do anything about it.

But vape Town said it took its responsibilities as a retailer very seriously and had followed consumer rights legislation correctly.

Steve told the Gazette: “I was watching TV and my vape was just on the side, I hadn’t used it for at least 30 minutes and then thick acrid black smoke started pouring out of the charging port, the vape wasn’t even on charge and the vape itself wasn’t hot.

“As soon as it happened I took both batteries out to see if it was a battery issue, I put in new batteries but the vape did the same thing.

“My main concern is if the shop has sold more which might have been part of a faulty batch and it could happen to someone else.”

Mr Williams went to the store to see if he could get an exchange and tell them what had happened, just in case there had been reports of other vape products being faulty.

He said: “I went to the shop where they decided to try their own batteries and they saw the smoke themselves, but they did not replace or refund the vape because of their 28 day returns policy.

“I was told to email head office to get authorisation for a refund but after emailing I got the same response.”

Mr Williams said he has now begun court proceedings.

Vape Town director Richard O’ Connell said Mr Williams had purchased the product 10 months before and in their opinion it had exceeded its expected lifespan.

He added: “We sold 460 units of this particular item since it was launched with this being the only one we are aware of to show the suspected issues described.

“This particular product was produced by Wismec who are a well respected manufacturer who have sold hundreds of thousands of these units worldwide.

“Anyone who needs some advice regarding an e-cigarette and what is the safe way to charge and use these devices is welcome to attend one of our shops where our staff will be happy to give some guidance on battery safety.”