A man escaped from a tanning bed as it burst into flames, sparking a fire that evacuated a Lake Wylie shopping center and damaged several stores Monday, authorities said.
No one, including the man in the bed, was hurt. But several stores in the Bethel Commons strip mall off S.C. 274 and S.C. 49 suffered smoke damage that will likely keep them closed most of the week, said Bethel Fire Chief Don Love.
Authorities are investigating what ignited the bed at Ultratan.
The man who escaped declined to give his name but said he was working on his tan when he heard a popping noise, then saw a flame at the corner of the tanning bed near his foot. He threw open the lid and jumped out, he said.
When firefighters arrived around 4:15 p.m. "smoke was pouring out of all sides of the building," said Bethel Assistant Fire Chief David Long. By 5:30 p.m. the fire was out and smoke cleared.
Now that's a hot bed.