A 45-year-old man is being treated for serious burns to both legs and his left arm after a pot of oil burst into flames and exploded at a neighbour's Paengaroa home.
Maketu fire chief Shane Beech said firefighters from Maketu and Te Puke were called to the kitchen fire at a house on State Highway 33 just before 11.30am yesterday.
A pot of oil on the stove burst into flames, then exploded when water was thrown on to it in an attempt to put the fire out.
The male owner of the house suffered smoke inhalation, Mr Beech said.
Mr Beech said the injured man was lucky not to have suffered more serious injuries, and Mr Beech said the whole house could easily have gone up in flames.
"Clearly hot oil and water don't mix.''
When fire crews arrived the home owner was trying to extinguish the fire with a garden hose. This was while the injured man was been cared for by a neighbour.
Firefighters helped put water on the man's burns and wrapped his legs and arm in cling film until St John paramedics arrived.
He was taken to Tauranga Hospital and has been transferred to the burns unit at Waikato Hospital.
Mr Beech urged people never to leave oil unattended on the stove.
If oil did catch alight he advised people to smother the fire with a wet towel or pot lid.
The blaze caused severe damage to the kitchen.