Suntan fan pays price for removing smoke alarms after sunbed sets fire to Oldham home

By Glen Keogh

A suntan fan set fire to a bedroom in his Oldham home yesterday after accidentally leaving his sunbed switched on.

Smoke from the blaze caused damage throughout the home and filtered through into his neighbour’s lofts while he remained downstairs unaware of the chaos as he had removed his smoke alarms.  

Firefighters from Oldham Fire Station found the old wooden-framed sunbed had set alight a mattress in his back bedroom on Turner Street, Lees, at about 5pm.

Watch Manager Jon Nolan said: “The guy told us that the timer was broken and he normally switches it off at the plug – but this time, he must’ve left it on and it set fire to a mattress that was also in the room.

“The fire was only in one room but there was a lot of smoke damage and smoke had gone into the loft and through to the lofts of other houses.”

The crew then had to use breaking in gear to check the fire had not spread to the other properties.

Once the fire was out, the crews carried out Home Safety Checks for the man who had suffered the fire and three of his neighbours.

Chair of Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service Councillor David Acton said: “Every home should have a working smoke alarm and it’s so important that you never remove the batteries or take them down – if they keep going off then they may be placed too close to the kitchen.”

For a Home Safety Check, which may include the fitting of two free smoke alarms, call GMFRS on 0800 555 815 or visit

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