A FIRE believed to have been caused by spilled beauty products broke out in a bedroom in Terringes Avenue, Worthing, yesterday evening.
Firefighters believe it was started by chemicals reacting when some nail polish and nail-polish remover were spilled.
Two crews from Worthing were called to the first floor flat at 5.45pm.
When they arrived they discovered a retired firefighter who lived nearby had already dowsed the flames.
Crew commander James Everett said it was an extremely rare type of incident.
He also said the property had not been fitted with working smoke alarms and highlighted the importance of making sure they are fitted and in good working order at all times.
The crews installed emergency smoke alarms at the house.
A woman and her young son escaped unhurt.
Crew commander Everett said the fire had probably been burning undetected for quite some time and quite intensely before the alarm was raised.
“There was quite severe damage in a small, localised area,” he said.