One child remains in hospital after two young children were pulled from a burning car in a Palmerston North supermarket carpark today.
A passer-by rescued the children from the vehicle after it burst into flames while their mother was collecting a prescription from a nearby pharmacy.
The pair, along with an older child and their mother, were taken to hospital.
A central ambulance communications spokesman said three children were taken to Palmerston North Hospital with smoke inhalation and burns; a 13-month-old and 3-year-old with minor injuries, and a third child, believed to be 7, with moderate injuries.
A Palmerston North Hospital spokesman said two children were treated and discharged while a third remained in hospital in a stable condition.
Manawatu Fire Service Assistant Area Commander Rodger Calder said the fire began in the Toyota Previa people-mover just after midday.
"On arrival there we found a passer-by had rescued two children out of the vehicle.''
Palmerston North Fire Service station officer Bevan Clark said the children's mother had popped into Unichem Pharmacy to pick up a prescription when the car, parked at the Pak'nSave Ferguson St carpark, burst into flames.
A bystander called the Fire Service while staff from the Pak'nSave supermarket fought the fire with extinguishers.
Mr Clark commended a passing woman who helped saved the children from the burning vehicle.
The cause of the blaze was still under investigation, he said.
- additional reporting Manawatu Guardian