THE company that hired out a sunbed that caught fire just minutes after a woman used it disputes that the tanning booth was the source of the blaze.
The Mail reported yesterday that Hartlepool woman Christine Bradley, 56, feared for her life when the sunbed she was using burst into flames just five minutes after she had topped up her tan.
But today, town-based firm Golden Brown Sunbed Hire says there is no proof that the vertical sunbed was the cause of the fire, at Christine’s Wynnstay Gardens home.
A spokesman said: “In 25 years we have never had an incident like this. “Where the sunbed is fire-damaged is on top of the sunbed, but the running gear is in the bottom.
“If there was a fire it would be in the bottom end.
“We disagree. It’s not the sunbed that has caused the fire, they just don’t set on fire like that.”
But Jason Wood, watch manager at Stranton Fire Station, told the Mail after Saturday’s incident the sunbed had “malfunctioned and caught fire”.
The spokesman said the firm has offered Christine £2,000 to redecorate her bedroom, after clothes stored in the room, a TV, carpets, wallpaper, blinds and a window were damaged by the flames.
But Christine is refusing to take up the offer, insisting she will instead go through her insurance firm.
Christine, who works at the Costcutter at the end of her street and is mum to Krissy, 26, said the sunbed had no sticker to say it had been PAT-tested.
But the company says it did when it left the shop and that it must have came off afterwards.
Christine, who was topping up a pre-holiday tan and had hired the sunbed for six weeks, told the Mail yesterday how she feared if she had been on the sunbed five minutes later she could have died.
Two fire engines from Stranton Fire Station attended the scene and station bosses had described her as very “lucky”.