26th June 2013

A Hutt Valley man wrenched his elderly neighbour's bedroom window off its hinges to drag him from a burning house overnight.

A man in his 80s was taken to Hutt Hospital in a critical condition after a fire in his Horoeka St, Stokes Valley, house late last night. He was in a stable condition in the hospital's intensive care ward this morning.

Andrew StephenNeighbour Andrew Stephen at first thought the yells outside his home were someone down the side of his house.

But when he went outside he saw ''fire light lighting up the place'' and realised the yells were his neighbour calling for help.

The elderly man was ''perched'' on his bedroom window sill, unable to open the window enough to get out.

Stephen wrenched the window open, smashed out the broken glass, and dragged his neighbour outside.

''Once I got him out of the house he basically just crumbled.''

Stephen ran next door to grab a blanket, then carried him across to his own house.

His neighbour appeared to have suffered smoke inhalation and a badly cut arm.

Fire communications shift manager David Meikle said the house was ''already well alight'' when local fire crews arrived on scene just after 11pm.

An ambulance communications spokesman said the man was taken to Hutt Hospital in a critical condition.

No other details of his injuries were available this morning.

The fire took about 30 minutes to bring under control.

There were no other reports of injuries.