Sunbed horror as Hartlepool tanning booth catches fire with naked woman inside

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A VISIT to the sunbed turned to horror for a panic-stricken woman who frantically escaped from the tanning booth after it caught fire.

Shocked Marjorie Patten, 49, was stood naked in the sunbed in a town salon when she suddenly heard a huge bang and looked up to see fire and smoke just inches above her head.

Fortunately she managed to get out quickly along with two other people who were in the Sunrise Tanning Salon, in King Oswy Drive.

But the care home worker says it will be her last ever visit to a sunbed and insists the blaze has put her off for good.

Looking back on the frightening incident, Marjorie, who lives in Serpentine Road, in the town, said: “I had only been in there for about a minute or so and I just heard this huge bang.

“I jumped out of my skin, looked up and there was smoke and flames right above my head.

“I just remember feeling this huge panic, I ran out, threw some clothes on and just got out of the salon as quickly as I could.

“When I looked up and saw the smoke right above my head I thought that was it for me.

“Two other customers were in the salon at the same time, they were just as shocked and frightened as me.”

The blaze broke out at around 4.30pm on Sunday. Firefighters from Stranton Fire Station rushed to the scene and put the fire out, but the salon was left significantly smoke damaged.

Fire officials are still investigating the cause of the fire, which was described by the salon’s owners as an “unfortunate accident”.

Shari Spowart, whose mum owns the salon, said: “It was an unfortunate accident and we are working to have the salon open again as quickly as possible.”

But Marjorie, who has been using sunbeds three or four times a week since January, said the experience has put her off for life.

The domestic assistant at Admiral Court Care Home, in the town, said: “I was still shaking 24 hours after it happened.

“I just keep thinking what if?

“I will never be going on the sunbeds again now, no way.”