Stephen Gutierrez, 28, began his closing arguments in an arson case in front of a Miami jury on Wednesday morning, when his pants literally caught fire. Gutierrez was, at the time, arguing that his client, Claudy Charles, 49, did not set his car alight intentionally, adding that the vehicle spontaneously combusted.

The Lawyer had, reportedly, been fiddling in his pocket a few seconds before this, when out of the blue, smoke started rising from his pants. It seems his pocket had also spontaneously combusted.

Lawyer runs out of the courtroom trailing smoke

It seems the culprit was a faulty battery in an electronic cigarette. The Miami Herald reports that Gutierrez then rushed out of the courtroom, shocking everyone in the room. According to Gutierrez, as the heat in his pocket increased, he had run to the bathroom, where he threw the faulty battery into water. After the lawyer left the court, the jury was ushered out of the courtroom and shortly after this, Gutierrez returned, luckily unharmed, but with a singed pocket. Spectators in the courtroom said they didn't believe the incident was staged by the lawyer to help his client and it appeared to be a genuine accident. The faulty battery in his e-cigarette was, of course, stored in that particular pocket.

One witness in the court said that, with the circumstances surrounding the trial, the incident was surreal.

Gutierrez said it was in no way staged

Gutierrez said after the event that the incident hadn’t been staged. He remarked that no one would expect a battery in their pocket to somehow “explode.” However, he has since done some research and he now knows this happens on a regular basis, saying he is not the only one to experience a problem like this.

Gutierrez added that even though he is OK, he is now aware of the dangers of e-cigarettes and their accessories and has decided to quit using the products.

NBS News reports that stories of batteries from electronic cigarettes exploding have been heard across the country, with battery malfunctions causing burns, loss of eyesight and even fractured bones.

A 19-year-old had a similar experience to Gutierrez back in 2016, when his e-cigarette exploded in his pants pocket, setting his clothing alight and leading to serious burns on his upper thigh. The Miami Herald mentions the story of a Naples man who was placed in a coma after an e-cigarette exploded in his mouth. He reportedly later filed suit about the incident in Miami-Dade.

NBS says there is no accurate record of how many of the devices have exploded in this way, as the e-cigarettes aren’t regulated.

What happened to Gutierrez and his client?

As for Gutierrez and his client, reportedly Charles was finally convicted of second-degree arson. Now it’s up to Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Michael Hanzman to decide whether to hold Charles’ lawyer in contempt of court for the dramatic incident.