A car smashed into the front of a hair and nail salon.

The black Vauxhall Corsa crashed into the front of Caprice Nails and Beauty at about 2am today, destroying the front wall and windows of the salon.

The owner of the store said she was devastated and added that if the accident had happened in the afternoon, someone could have been killed.

Firefighters, who helped a man who lived upstairs to escape from the building, said only the front door was holding the salon up.

Proprietor Tina Edge, aged 62, said: “Christmas is coming up and we’re fully booked and we’re going to have to work around it. We have rooms at the back, but the front is totally unusable.” She said the shop had recently been refurbished.

Mrs Edge added: “I’m glad it happened at 2am, not in the afternoon, because there would have been fatalities I think.”

Firefighters were called to the shop at about 5.30am because the man living in the flat above the shop needed to leave to go to work.

Crew manager Keiran Read, of Bolton Central station, said: “It was only the front door that was holding the shop up.”

The fire crew helped the man, believed to be in his 40s, out of a first floor window and down a ladder at the back of the house.

Property owners Janet and Nigel Holt said the first-floor tenant had slept through the whole incident and only realised when he could not leave for work.

Mr Read added: “When we left the council was in attendance and the car was still in the front of the shop.”

The car has since been removed from the shop front.

A spokesman for Bolton Council, said: “A building control officer attended the site at 3.45am following a report from Greater Manchester Police that a building was in imminent danger of collapse following a road traffic collision.

“On arrival the building control officer called out a contractor who was able to make the building safe and secure.”