A Far North man has suffered serious burns in a fire which destroyed his home at Takahue, about 20km south of Kaitaia.
The alarm was raised by local residents who were driving past on Takahue Rd, near the junction with Cemetery Rd, about 6pm on Friday.
Fire investigator Gary Beer said the pair — thought to be a father and daughter — called 111 and performed first aid until an ambulance arrived.
The occupant of the home, who was aged in his late 70s or early 80s, managed to get out before the house was engulfed.
He suffered severe burns and a cut to his arm.
He was flown in a serious condition to Whangārei Hospital by the Northland Rescue Helicopter, then to Middlemore in Auckland which has a specialist burns unit.
Fire chief Craig Rogers said two fire trucks and a tanker responded from Kaitaia, plus one truck from Ahipara.
The house was well ablaze even as they left town, he said.
''We could see the smoke from 20km away. By the time we got there the house was pretty much on the ground,'' he said.
Vehicles and a nearby shed were also destroyed.
Firefighters left around midnight.
Beer said the fire was accidental.
The occupant could not be interviewed so the exact cause couldn't be determined, but it appeared he had been cooking at the time.
Beer urged Northlanders to ''keep looking while you're cooking''.
It was also a reminder to ensure that smoke alarms were installed and working.
It was the second house destroyed by fire in the Kaitaia area in 48 hours.
About 2.20am on Thursday a Housing NZ home on Masters Place was gutted in a blaze thought to have been started by a vape left to charge on a bed.
Meanwhile, about 8am on Sunday the Cavalli Fire Brigade was called to a caravan fire at the southern end of Matauri Bay.
Fire chief Peter Cullen said it was fortunate residents manage to contain the fire before the brigade arrived, because it had potential to spread to other dwellings nearby.
The caravan was destroyed but no one was hurt.
The fire was thought to have been started by a candle, Cullen said.
About 1.30pm on Sunday the Kaitaia Fire Brigade was called out again, this time to a vegetation fire on a property next to Paparore School, about 20km north of Kaitaia.
The blaze, which covered an area of about 20m x 50m of grass and scrub, was thought to have been started by an illegal rubbish fire.
Kaitaia and the Aupōuri Peninsula are currently subject to a total fire ban.