The owner of a Woolston property that burst into flames this afternoon arrived at his neighbour's home gasping for breath before collapsing on the door step.
The fire in Smith St broke out shortly before 3pm.
Claude Arnold answered his door to see his neighbour coughing and struggling to breathe.
"The house was really going, it was belching out smoke everywhere," he said.
"I'll tell you what, I'll be getting a fire extinguisher in the house now."
The man, who has owned the fire-hit home for about 10 years, was taken to hospital for smoke inhalation treatment.
"I think he will be all right," Arnold said. "It was a bit of a shock."
He said the house was "buggered".
"There is no way he could live in that. It's unrepairable."
A fire spokesperson said four firefighters with breathing apparatus helped extinguish the fire.
its smoke had drifted across the city and even set off alarms at various properties including Christchurch Hospital.
"It created a bit of havoc," the spokesperson said.
A fire investigator was inspecting the scene but it was unclear what caused the fire.
- The Press