Jason Viles says he crawled out of a flaming tanning bed, avoiding serious injury. ((Niall McKenna/CBC))

A Regina man who had been working on his tan when his tanning bed burst into flames says it was a close call that he managed to escape without a major injury.

"I barely made it," Jason Viles said Monday, about an hour after his escape.

The fire broke out around 11 a.m. Monday at the Millennium Tanning Salon in Regina, close to the downtown.

Viles was inside a tanning bed when he heard a pop, smelled smoke and found himself locked into the tanning bed. He narrowly escaped serious injury by kicking out a stereo and crawling out the back of the apparatus.

"I had no idea it was going to burst, you know, into flames," he said. "I was just thinking, 'Oh my God, what's going to happen?'"


Firefighters had the tanning salon blaze under control by the noon hour. ((Niall McKenna/CBC))

The naked Viles grabbed his clothes and rushed to safety, as did other people in the salon at the time. Viles suffered some minor burns on his stomach.

Firefighters soon had the blaze under control.

The cause of the fire isn't yet known, but one staff member at the salon said they had problems with the bed malfunctioning in the past.

Fire officials say the only other business affected was the Running Room next door, which suffered some smoke damage.

Viles said he considers what happened a "freak accident:" and expects to try again at some point.

"As far as my tanning career ... I don't think it's over," he said.