TWO people are fighting for life and three others have been seriously injured after a backyard heater exploded north of Newcastle on Saturday night.
NSW Police say the diesel burner was being re-fuelled as an event was being held at the Medowie home before it ignited, causing a large fireball to fill the area around 8.30pm.
Emergency services were quick to arrive at the Carnouskie Way property where a 50-year-old man and a 42-year-old woman sustained severe burns.
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They were airlifted to Royal North Shore Hospital in a critical condition.
Three men, aged 39, 40 and 59, were treated at the scene for serious burns to their bodies. They were taken by road ambulance to John Hunter Hospital.
A crime scene was established, and witnesses are assisting police with inquiries.