At the start of the month, a 14-year-old boy was burned and blinded in his left eye after a vape pen exploded in his face at a kiosk at the Kings Plaza mall. Now the owners of that kiosk are pushing back at the teen's claim that the kiosk clerk let him handle the vaping device, arguing he was responsible for the incident: "No one gave him anything," co-owner Esther Kanchik told the Daily News.

"He picked up the employee's device and he switched out the tank without permission," she added. "To say that the employees were selling to underage people is totally wrong. We felt extremely bad that this happened, but to slander my husband's name and my family name is really wrong."

Teen Leor Domatov, who lives in Mill Basin, was at the mall on April 5th with his friends when he visited the Plaza Vapes kiosk. Though the law requires a person to be 21 to buy or handle vapes, Domatov claims the clerk allowed the teens to handle the products. While Domatov was holding one of the vapes, he says the clerk plugged the device into the wrong battery, causing it to explode.

Kanchik and her husband/co-owner Igor say they have fired the kiosk clerk, but Igor insisted, "They are blaming me, but he took it without the consent of my employee." He added that mall security footage and witnesses from neighboring shops could back up their claims, although the shop’s security cameras were apparently unplugged at the time.

"There's no reason why a 14-year-old boy should have been hanging out there," Esther Kanchik also said, misunderstanding what teens have been doing with their free time ever since the invention of the mall. Leor's attorney Marc Freund countered that the kiosk's insurance had expired, and they're just trying to avoid responsibility: "The idea that all four security cameras went out doesn't even pass the smell test," said Freund, of the firm Lipsig, Shapey, Manus & Moverman, P.C. "He was with his friends, and they can corroborate that the clerk was showing him products."

The kiosk is being investigated by the city's Department of Consumer Affairs. "It is illegal to sell electronic cigarettes to customers under 21 in New York City, and we will be visiting this retailer to ensure they follow the law," a spokesperson for the department said in a statement.

Also this month, a Queens woman sustained third-degree burns after an e-cigarette battery exploded in her pocket while she was driving.