A man who suffered second degree burns after his smoker caught fire then suffered further insult to his injury after his house caught fire.

Stephen Bartlett was in the backyard of his Hillcrest, North Shore, home on Saturday afternoon when he decided to put a few sausages and chicken cutlets in his smokehouse.

All was going well until he decided to put a few more of the Kingsford Charcoal matchlight coals on the embers when it suddenly exploded.

"I got engulfed in a giant ball of flames from my left arm all the way up to my head. I have burns on my face, a burn to a third of my left arm. It's decent."

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The flames were so intense the skin on his arm simply peeled off while his eyebrows and eyelashes got singed.

His first reaction was to flick the flames off his arm and then jump into the shower. However, he then noticed the severity so decided to drive himself to hospital.

Not thinking his day could get any worse, he then got a call from fire and emergency saying his rented house was on fire.

"My skin just peeled straight off but as I flicked the fire off my body it landed in the garden and caught the garden on fire as well.

Simon Bartlett's smokehouse after it exploded. Photo/Simon Bartlett
Simon Bartlett's smokehouse after it exploded. Photo/Simon Bartlett

"The recycle bin melted to about half high so there was recycling all over the garden."

Before he left, he had a quick look back outside at the smoker to make sure it hadn't caught fire and not seeing anything amiss, he locked the door and went to hospital.

"I didn't realise that where I flicked the fire off it landed in the garden and I ended up getting a call from the fire department saying there was a fire at my house."

His burns are slowly healing and he gets dressing changes every second day a district nurse, however, his woes have continued as his complaint to the company who imports the product has been dismissed.

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Bartlett has been left fuming after contacting Clorox New Zealand Limited and been told the explosion was his fault.

Guttering of Simon Bartlett's rented North Shore home melted after he flicked the flames from his arm into the garden, unwittingly setting it on fire. Photo/Simon Bartlett
Guttering of Simon Bartlett's rented North Shore home melted after he flicked the flames from his arm into the garden, unwittingly setting it on fire. Photo/Simon Bartlett

"I tried contacting them going 'hey, I'm a customer, I'm just trying to work out what went wrong' and it took them three days to get in contact with me and they said it's all my fault.

"That I must have added accelerant to it, I must have been heavily drinking, 'there's no way our product would have done that'."

Bartlett said he'd been using his smokehouse for the past three years and using the Kingsford Charcoal brand of products for the same length of time.

A butcher by trade, he said he knew how volatile smoking products could be.

"I've been smoking meat for about three years now. I always use their products and it's the first time that their products have actually exploded on me. I'm not talking a little poof it was a full on explosion."

The 27-year-old said the coals were basically "fire starters" and soaked in gasoline on production. The instructions say not to put them on an open flame, and he said he put them on hot embers.

"How are you meant to ignite the coal so that you can start cooking with it anyway? I mean, you can't just use your mind powers to ignite the things, they need flame to ignite the coal so they actually burn."

Bartlett said he was frustrated that the company had put all the blame back on him.

He plans to now seek legal advice in the new year.

"If they took at least some responsibility for the doctor's bill or something but telling me that it's all my fault, that I'm an alcoholic and drinking heavily ... that's the bit that's got me over the edge."

In a statement, a Clorox spokesperson said safety of their customers was a "top priority".

"Our team was very concerned to hear about the gentleman's accident. When he contacted us, our team was extremely responsive and focused on learning what had happened.

"BBQing with our product is safe when used as directed. We are continuing to investigate this matter."