A FATHER-of-four has been left with second degrees burns to his face and hands after lighting a cigarette and accidentially setting fire to a mist of hairspray.

Mechanic Stephen Parsonage was getting ready for a night out on Sunday when his hair caught fire.

Firefighters and paramedics were called at about 11pm after the fumes from the aerosol hairspray were ignited by the 26-year-old’s lighter flame.

Stephen, of Bunkers Hill Close, Blackburn, managed to put out the fire within seconds with his hands and his girlfriend’s help.

He said: “I had just finished hairspraying my hair and decided to have a quick cigarette. As I lit the fag there was a whoosh and the next thing I knew my head was on fire.

“I just panicked and started patting my head. The pain was intense.

“I had no idea that could even happen. Surely, retailers shouldn’t be able to sell hairspray if this can happen.

“I went to A&E and everyone in the waiting room was laughing at me, so I discharged myself. I am really embarrassed.

“I have second degree burns on my forehead and hands.”

As well as second degree burns to his forehead Stephen has also burnt the hair around his face.

Stephen’s girlfriend said: “I was so scared. The flames were 2ft above his head. I could tell he was panicking.”

Firefighters are now issuing a warning about the risk of exposing flammable gases such as hairspray and deodorant to naked flames.

Blackburn watch manager Steve Johnson said: “This is a really important fire safety message. This lad had been hairspraying his hair and then lit a cigarette without thinking of the consequences. He had a lucky escape, many aerosols have flammable expellants in them and once they are sprayed they are released into the room.

“His lighter ignited a ball of gas that had set the hairspray on his head on fire.

“Aerosols should not be used in a confined air tight space.”

Stephen said: “I will never do that again. I hope everyone reading this learns from this too. Don’t use naked flames immediately after using an aerosol.”