Former British royal Sarah Ferguson had a lucky escape at a dinner party - when her hair turned into a fireball after catching light from a burning table candle.

The DUCHESS OF YORK, 44, will need to wear hair extensions for months until her red locks grow back - after they went up in flames at a London party.

A source tells British tabloid newspaper THE PEOPLE, "It was terrifying and the Duchess Of York was lucky to escape being seriously burned.

"She turned to chat to a guest at a London party and didn't realise her hair had come into contact with a lit candle."

Fortunately for Ferguson, one alert onlooker came to her aid and fetched a towel to help douse the flames.

The source adds, "It was all over in seconds but the damage was done.

"Her hair is her pride and joy but the mane she is so famous for was pretty ruined. She will have to wear hair extensions until it grows back properly and that could take a long time."

01/08/2004 14:24