A Runanga man in his 30s suffered serious burns to the middle section of his body yesterday morning after an accident while lighting the fire at home.

Greymouth St John Ambulance staff were called to a Ballance St address about 8am after the man received burns to his midsection, station manager Andrew Ching said.

The man was lighting a fire and apparently suffered burns as a result of a "blow back" from the fire.

The Runanga Volunteer Fire Brigade was not called to the incident.


Mr Ching said the burns victim was initially admitted to Grey Base Hospital. Just on noon, the Canterbury Westpac Rescue helicopter with a medical team on board arrived in Greymouth to take the man to Christchurch.

Greymouth rescue helicopter base manager Angus Taylor said the local NZCC Rescue Helicopter was on standby to transfer the man but in the event the decision was made during the morning to use the larger Canterbury rescue craft so the man could receive continued medical treatment on the way.

The West Coast District Health Board said today the man was in Christchurch Hospital and described his condition as comfortable.