A man who escaped a house fire, only to be burnt when he went back in to try to rescue his pet dogs, was in a serious condition last night.
The 65-year-old was flown to Waikato Hospital yesterday morning, after a fire broke out in his house. He suffered burns to his face, arms and chest.
Turangi deputy chief fire officer Micky Sherwood said a man, thought to be in his thirties, and his parents were in the house when the fire started shortly before 2.30am.
The fire began in the son's room - probably from an overheating heater or multi-box.
After initially trying to put the fire out, the son then went to alert his parents, who were sleeping in separate rooms.
His mother was undergoing overnight oxygen treatment from a machine and he and his father helped her from the house.
"He did an amazing job," Sherwood said. However, after they made their way outside, the father then returned to the house to try to rescue a couple of dogs, she said.
She understood he succeeded in saving at least one of the pets, but he had to be flown to Waikato Hospital on the Youthtown Trust Rescue Helicopter and had surgery yesterday.
It showed the importance of staying out of burning buildings, Ms Sherwood said.
"The son did an awesome job of getting people out - it was unfortunate his dad went back in and tried to rescue the animals."
The fire also showed the importance of taking care with heaters and multi-boards during the cold winter months, she said.
The house did not appear to have smoke alarms.
Chief fire officer Tong Kingi said three fire crews attended the blaze. The one-storey house had been left uninhabitable and would probably have to be condemned.