A teenage boy is fighting for his life at Royal North Shore Hospital after a fire pit explosion.
A teenage boy is fighting for his life at Royal North Shore Hospital after a fire pit explosion.

Methylated spirits used in fire pit explosion

PARAMEDICS have warned people against using accelerants in fireplaces this winter after a teenager was left fighting for life with burns to 60 per cent of his body from an explosion at his waterfront home in Port Stephens.

The family had gathered around the metal "fire pit" on their back patio on Sunday when it is believed somebody stoked the fire with methylated spirits, causing the blast just after 5pm.

NSW Ambulance crews were called to a "person on fire" at the Corlette address and arrived to find five patients suffering burns outside the house.

The boy suffered burns to 60 per cent of his body. Picture: Nine News
The boy suffered burns to 60 per cent of his body. Picture: Nine News

The family's 16-year-old son bore the brunt of the flames, suffering massive burns to his face, arms and torso. He was flown to Royal North Shore Hospital where he remained in a critical condition this afternoon.

The teenager ran into the ocean just metres from the front of the home in an attempt to douse his wounds.

His father also received burns to his legs and torso and was also flown to Sydney, along with a women in her 40s.

The boy ran into the ocean to douse his wounds. Picture: Nine News
The boy ran into the ocean to douse his wounds. Picture: Nine News

Two others, a man and woman in their 40s, were also treated at the scene for burns to their face and torso and taken to Newcastle's John Hunter Hospital in a stable condition.

One family friend said the close-knit community was "in shock" today as news spread of the teenager's horrific injuries.

NSW Ambulance Inspector Andrew Steenson said paramedics did their best to relieve the child's pain and ensure there were no burns to his airways.

"The warning is only use timber and items designed to be burnt," Insp Steenson said.

"We do deal with a lot of these types of injuries, especially at camp locations.

"We saw that over Easter, we were called to several incidents where people had been burnt by accelerants poured on fire."



Cultural burns key to averting bushfire crisis

Premium Content Cultural burns key to averting bushfire crisis

Indigenous leader calls for investment to reduce fire risk and enable cultural...

Hellish holidays had tourism teetering in March

Premium Content Hellish holidays had tourism teetering in March

Figures show accommodation industry already tanking as lockdowns came into...

Saints march on Grafton with top spot in their sights

Premium Content Saints march on Grafton with top spot in their sights

Sawtell Toormina and the Tigers go head to head in a blockbuster clash