A police officer risked his life breaking into a burning house in Mt Maunganui on Sunday night to save an elderly woman.
He ran to a ranch slider and began banging on the door, when he noticed an elderly woman who was inside coming towards the door. As she tried to unlock the door she collapsed and fell backwards into the smoke-filled room.
The officer broke through a window to find her but was forced outside soon after to get air.
During his second attempt to rescue her, another officer arrived and helped him to pull her out through another window.
The woman is in a stable condition at Tauranga Hospital with her family at her side, while the first police officer suffered cuts to his hands and is being observed for smoke inhalation.
Police say the officer's quick heroic action prevented a tragedy from taking place.