Scott Kemery, 44, was rushed to hospital by helicopter with serious first and second degree burns after his nit-witted scheme backfired badly in New York state.

Cops were left scratching their heads when Kemery explained that he had rented the car in Florida before discovering that it had bedbugs when he drove north to the Hamptons. When a friend told him the best way to kill the blood-sucking insects was to douse them in alcohol he did just that.

But he then made the near-fatal error of lighting a cigarette as he sat in his vehicle outside the King Kullen supermarket, in Eastport. His ill-timed fag break ignited the alcohol – so setting the car and himself on fire. He was rushed to Stony Brook University Hospital on Long Island; meanwhile two other cars in the parking lot were damaged by flames from the inferno.

Police are not pressing charges, and fingers crossed he makes a good recovery. But remember – you should never, ever, smoke in a rental car…