Video shows how quickly nail polish remover can start flash fire

BELLAIRE, TX (KTRK) -- Ladies, chances are you have at least one bottle of nail polish remover in your home right now. But you may never look at it the same way once you see how easily it can catch fire without ever touching a flame.

The fire that started in the 19000 block of Poppy Grove Lane in Cypress Friday night was not intense enough to destroy the house, but it did send a 20-year-old woman to the hospital with third-degree burns to half her body.

The culprit, according to fire fighters, was a bottle of nail polish remover.

According to investigators, the woman was using nail polish remover near a candle when the vapors started a flash fire.

The Bellaire Fire Department showed us just how dangerous vapors and fumes from nail polish remover can become.

In this enclosed space, it takes only two minutes for enough vapor to accumulate to cause a flash fire.

The candle's flame never actually touches the nail polish remover. It's the vapors that ignite all on their own.

"It was surprising. I did not expect it to ignite as fast as it did, it's an everyday use chemical that I'm sure everyone is not aware it can ignite as fast as it did," said Bellaire Fire Fighter Curtis Thompson.

Nail polish removers come with a warning that the product is extremely flammable and that liquid and vapors may ignite.

It's a warning firefighters say people need to hear.

"Its liquid is actually not what is burning, it is the fumes that are burning; it's like when you put gas in your car and you smell those fumes -- that's what ignites, not the liquid," said Bellaire Assistant Fire Chief Alton Moses.

One note, we tried this experiment in the open, the vapors never ignited because they were able to dissipate.

Only use products like these in a well-ventilated areas and never near an open flame, even one as small as a candle.
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