Five people had to be treated for smoke inhalation after a pot being used to sterilise baby bottles was left on the stove.
Ambulance staff and fire crews were called to a house on Leverett Place in the Christchurch suburb of North New Brighton shortly before 6am today.
A southern fire communications spokesman said although there had been no fire, the house had become filled with smoke.
He acknowledged the situation could have been worse.
"There was a pot on the stove that had boiled dry. The people, they were boiling up baby bottles - being sterilised. It boiled dry and created a bit of smoke,'' the spokesman said.
Paramedics treated five people at the scene. It is not yet known whether anyone had been taken to hospital as a result.