A Tauranga man was taken to Waikato Hospital with burns to his face and arms after the petrol he was using to help start a fire caused a small explosion.
Te Puke fire chief Glenn Williams said workers were burning cardboard kiwifruit crates in the yard at Plant and Food Research on No1 Rd in Te Puke when the man was injured about 2pm yesterday.
"One of them decided to hurry it along with some petrol and got a bit burnt. The fuel and the vapours that were around obviously ignited," he said. "I'm sure it could have been a heck of a lot worse."
A St John ambulance spokesperson said the 50-year-old Tauranga man was taken to Tauranga Hospital with moderate burns to his face and arms.
The man was initially described as being in a very serious condition but the burns turned out to be superficial, he said.
All facial burns were treated seriously as people could inhale flames causing burns to their airways which were often not visible.
A Tauranga Hospital spokesperson said the man was in a stable condition in Tauranga Hospital but was last night being transferred to the burns unit at Waikato Hospital for further treatment.
A Plant and Food Research manager declined to speak to reporters at the scene saying it was a small accident which resulted in a man receiving very minor burns.
The receptionist said staff tried to call off the fire brigade but they were already on the way. "It was just a mishap. Someone called the ambulance in case a person was badly hurt but they're not."
Mr Williams said the accident was a reminder about the dangers of fire.