RUMFORD – Firefighters were called to a Waldo Street apartment Friday night after one of two women looking for “numbing lotion” to put on their newly pierced tongues set a bed on fire.

Rumford police said Tara Amburg, 22, and her friend, Lisa Puiia, 20, also of Rumford, were in Amburg’s third-floor apartment at 341 Waldo St. when the fire started.

Cpl. Douglas Maifeld said the women reported they had had their tongues pierced earlier in the day and were looking for “numbing lotion” to put on them. Because there was no working flashlight, he said, Puiia used a cigarette lighter to look for the lotion under a bed, igniting the box spring and mattress.

Tenants and friends extinguished the flames using water from the kitchen sink, Maifeld said.

“They were using everything out of the kitchen sink to douse it. Luckily, everything came out good,” he said.

Rumford Fire Department got a 911 call at about 5:30 p.m. of a fire in the apartment, but arrived to find it was out, Maifeld said.

The small three-story building was evacuated while firefighters made sure it was safe for tenants, friends and family to return.

No charges are pending, Maifeld said.

Staff editor Mary Delamater contributed to this report.

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