A volunteer firefighter is being treated for burns after a blaze ripped through a Taranaki home early today.
St John Ambulance said the man was taken to Taranaki Base Hospital with burns.
Taranaki area commander Pat Fitzell said the firefighter had been transferred to Waikato hospital for treatment in the specialist burns unit there.
Fitzell said the firefighter suffered burns to his shoulders, arms and hands when inside the Seyton Street home, which was fully alight at the time.
"He was wearing full firefighting gear and breathing apparatus at the time, and we don't yet know what happened to cause the injuries.
"Obviously in a fire, several things can happen so we will find out more once all those present have been spoken to and a full scene examination has been carried out."
There were no people in the house when the fire broke out, although Fitzell said firefighters on the scene did believe there might be a person trapped inside.
"At the time, there was a belief there may have been people inside the house, so obviously they wanted to get into the house and make sure anyone there was safe."
Volunteer fire crews from Eltham and Toko also attended the call out.
Fitzell said the firefighter was relatively new to the volunteer brigade, and lives with his wife and children in Stratford.
His wife travelled up to her husband's hospital bed this afternoon by car.
Fire and Emergency central communications shift manager Murray Dunbar said the fire broke out just before 4.30am in Seyton St, Stratford.
A neighbour says she woke up to what she at first thought was the sound of fireworks.
"It was like the crackling sound you get from fireworks, with then louder noises which I realised was the sound of glass breaking, so I went out to see what was happening."
When outside, the neighbour saw smoke billowing out of the Seyton Street home, so called the fire brigade.
Fire safety officers would be investigating the cause of the blaze, which was being treated as suspicious.