A 20-year-old man remains in hospital today after being hit in the mouth by an exploding air freshener.

Bradley Stephens was airlifted to Waikato Hospital yesterday after a freak accident in which an exploding air freshener flew seven metres across a room and struck him.

The apprentice farrier had lit a fire in the farmhouse that he was staying in at Whitehall Rd near Cambridge.

"He had been out hunting over the weekend and had just started the fire, probably for the first time this year. He'd got his boots wet and was drying them for work tomorrow," said a workmate Callum Geddes.


"There was an air freshener that was too close to the fireplace which over the course of the evening has become significantly hot and exploded and managed to hit my workmate in the face at the opposite end of the living room.

"It's just absolutely rotten luck. Yes, there was some mismanagement, but it was just such rotten luck to go seven metres across the living room and hit someone in the face."

Mr Geddes said his friend had "a pretty significant cut to his nose and lip" but was still conscious and was able to ring an ambulance first, and then Mr Geddes who took the call in a Cambridge supermarket soon after 7pm.

"I was the first person out here," Mr Geddes said.

"He was just sitting in the kitchen with a towel on his face. He was very calm and everything else, he was just feeling a bit slightly in shock as to what had just happened.

"He split his mouth with the thing and made a real mess really."

Mr Geddes said the cut on his lip was "an inch long but it was relatively deep".

"The police and fire brigade were on the scene very quickly and the air ambulance is taking him to Waikato Hospital," he said.

"The helicopter was probably a wee bit of overkill, to be fair, for the significance of the incident. They certainly did a good job of it, but I think people like to take every precaution in regard to such things."

Mr Geddes said Mr Stephens came from Matamata but was staying in his boss's house while the boss was away.