One person has suffered moderate injuries after a couch was set ablaze in the student heart of Dunedin.

A Fire and Emergency New Zealand spokesman said Willowbank firefighters were called to Castle St at 10.55pm last night to extinguish a couch fire in the car port of a private residence.

A St John spokeswoman confirmed officers attended the blaze and transported one person with moderate injuries to Dunedin Hospital by ambulance.

Couch burning was once as eponymous with Castle Street as the band Six60, as an unruly student past-time.


The student celebration of couch burning seemed all but curbed when fire-related incidents dealt to by the proctor fell from 128 in 2015 to 70 in 2016.

This was a part of a downward trend continuing since 258 in 2011.

In January firefighters attended three fires involving the same couch in Hyde St.

Fire trucks were sent to the street at 12.22am, then were forced to return at 3.46am and 5.37am.

A police spokeswoman said officers spoke to an individual following the first fire, but could not prove they were involved.

University of Otago deputy proctor Geoff Burns said at the time he was unsure whether students were involved.

He confirmed the number of couch fires being reported in the area was gradually falling.

He said the proctor's office would follow up today with residents of the street about the incidents.


In February 2017 couch burning marred Otago University's Orientation Week, with reports of five arrests in one night.

Footage shot on Castle St shows a couch well ablaze and, at one stage, a young man jumping through the flames.

The Fire Service and police attended the incident and extinguished the burning couch.

In the video people could be seen drinking and shouting around the couch.