An elderly man is dead after he sliced his leg with a skill saw doing home maintenance.

Ambulance staff arrived at the 85-year-old's home in Deep Creek Rd, Torbay, about 4.30pm yesterday but he could not be saved.

Acting Senior Sergeant Matthew Purdy said staff were still trying to locate the man's extended family.

"Essentially it appears to be an accident where the man was doing some maintenance work around the home and he slipped with the skill saw."

Mr Purdy said it appeared the man's femoral artery had been severed.

An autopsy will be carried out today.