A Tauranga man woke to a woman's screams to find his friend face-down on the kitchen floor with a hot oven on top of her.
The man, who did not want to be identified, managed to lift the oven off the 55-year-old woman and carry her to the bathroom of her Botanical Rd home, where he soaked her wounds and covered them with wet towels.
"All I heard was crash, bang and screaming for help," said the man, who was asleep in the bedroom at the time.
The woman had been cooking a chicken late on Tuesday night when she appeared to have slipped and tried to catch herself, only to pull the oven and cutlery drawer down on top of her.
"She was completely trapped. It was an absolute nightmare. The whole thing could have ignited," he said.
"It was the most frightening thing I've seen in my whole life. It was shocking."
The woman initially refused to go to hospital but decided to call an ambulance about 2am yesterday. She was taken to hospital with a deep burn to her right thigh.
The man, who had been staying for the week, said it was lucky he was there or the situation could have been much worse.
"She was buried underneath the oven. The whole kitchen was an absolute disaster. Words can't describe it," he said. "It was potentially lethal. The whole house could have gone up."
A Tauranga Hospital spokeswoman said the woman was in a stable condition yesterday.