A WOMAN had a lucky escape after her sunbed burst into flames just minutes after she used it.
Two fire crews rushed to Wynnstay Gardens, off Chester Road, in Hartlepool, to reports of a house fire.
It emerged that the female occupant of the house had been using a sunbed before it caught fire.
The woman, believed to be in her 50s, had smelled smoke before her smoke alarm activated.
She saw the flames, quickly shut the bedroom door, fled the house and rang the fire brigade, which fire chiefs have praised as the right course of action.
The bedroom sustained severe fire damage and the upstairs was smoke-logged.
Fire chiefs say the woman was lucky to get out in time.
Stranton Fire Station watch manager Jason Wood said: “The woman has been lucky.
“The alarm activated, catching the fire in its early stages.”
The incident happened around 3.30pm on Saturday, with fire crews spending around half an hour at the scene.
Mr Wood added: “The fire was confined to the bedroom itself.
“The woman had just finished using the sunbed when it malfunctioned and caught fire.
“She had came off it because she said she smelled something that wasn’t right.
“She got dressed, the smoke alarm went off and she saw smoke coming out of the sunbed.
“Luckily the woman had the foresight to close the door, get out and phone us.”
He said when crews arrived smoke was billowing out of the bedroom window and the woman was waiting in the street.
Firefighters used two sets of breathing apparatus and a hose reel to put out the flames.