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Salon’s tanning bed catches fire; no one injured

Saturday, December 21, 2002

By STEPHANIE HOOPER, Telegraph Staff
A short circuit in a fluorescent bulb was the cause of a small fire in a tanning bed at a local tanning salon Friday, fire officials said.

Employees at Super Tan at 650 Amherst St. reported the fire at approximately 4 p.m., shortly after it was extinguished.

No one was injured, but one person was in the room when the Ultrabronze tanning bed was turned on and began to smoke, said Nashua Fire Rescue Capt. Joe Beaudoin.

The bed has a mattress on its lower portion and a pull-down lighted cover that tans the body, according to the company’s Web site.

The fire was in the bottom portion of the bed, underneath the mattress, Beaudoin said.

“It started smoking and a little bit of the flames came out the bottom of the unit,” he said.

Beaudoin, who has 23 years of experience as a firefighter, said a fire in a tanning bed was unusual.

“This was the first time I have ever had a call to a tanning salon,” he said.

He said the short circuit was in the ballast, a component of the fluorescent light system that regulates the electrical current in the bulb.

Employees at the salon reported that the ballasts in the machine had been replaced a month earlier, he said.

The manager on duty at Super Tan said nobody was on the bed when the incident happened, but she would not comment further.

Fire officials advised employees at the salon not to use the bed and checked the unit to make sure it was not connected to any power source before clearing the scene.