Man burnt in oil fire

By Sandra Conchie


A 45-year-old man suffered serious burns to both legs and one arm after a pot of oil burst into flames and exploded.

Maketu fire chief Shane Beech said firefighters from Maketu and Te Puke were called to the kitchen fire at a house on State Highway 33, Paengaroa just before 11.30am yesterday.

The man, who was last night admitted to Waikato Hospital's burns unit, was heating oil on his neighbour's stove when it burst into flames.

Water was then thrown on to the flames in an attempt to put the fire out, causing an explosion.

When fire crews arrived the owner was trying to extinguish the fire with a garden hose, while the injured man was being cared for by a neighbour.

Firefighters helped put water on the man's burns and wrapped his legs and arm in plastic wrap until St John paramedics arrived.

A Tauranga St John spokesperson said the man's injuries ranged from superficial to partial-thickness burns.

The male owner of the house suffered smoke inhalation.

He declined to comment to the Bay of Plenty Times, but his neighbour confirmed that the burnt man boarded with him and had been visiting the neighbour when the fire broke out.

The 50-year-old said he had been watching television when he noticed large flames coming from next door and rushed outside to see his friend jumping around on the porch.

"He was trying to take off his burning trousers and I ran over to help him and also used a blanket to try and put out the fire ... I rushed my mate away from the [burning] house and grabbed a bucket of water to help to cool his burns. He was talking but clearly he was in a lot of pain. His feet looked pretty burnt."

Mr Beech said the whole house could easily have gone up in flames and the burnt man was lucky not to have suffered more serious injuries.

He urged people never to leave oil unattended on the stove and if oil did catch alight to smother the flames with a wet towel or pot lid.

The blaze caused severe damage to the kitchen area of the house.


 

- BAY OF PLENTY TIMES

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