Actor Nick Nolte has escaped safely from a fire that caused severe damage to his Malibu home.

The 67-year-old received a small cut on his right hand having broken a window to flee the blaze, according to the Los Angeles county sheriff's department.

The fire was reported at around 11:30 local time (19:30 BST) on Tuesday and was sparked by an electrical malfunction in the property's living room, fire inspector Frank Garrido was quoted by the AFP news agency as saying.

Mr Garrido said Tropic Thunder actor Nolte grabbed a garden hose after escaping through a window and began trying to extinguish the fire, which took firefighters an eventual 26 minutes to douse.

An estimated $3 million (£1.7 million) of damage was caused by the blaze, half of it structural and half to personal property, including "collectibles, artwork, the furniture," Mr Garrido said.

Celebrity website cites neighbours of Nolte as complaining that the printer in his office had malfunctioned and started the fire.

08/10/2008 08:55:57