Freak shisha accident leaves Sydney man suffering serious burns to his chest, arm and airways 

Freak shisha accident leaves man in Sydney’s west suffering serious burns to his chest, arm and airways

  •  A 29-year-old was smoking shisha on Saturday when the pipe caught fire 
  •  NSW paramedics treated the man at the residence in North Parramatta 
  •  He was put in a coma and taken to Concord hospital with serious burns 

A man has suffered serious burns to his chest, arm and airways after his shisha pipe caught fire and went up in flames.  

The 29-year-old was smoking with his family at a residence in North Parramatta in Sydney’s western suburbs on Saturday afternoon. 

Paramedics treated the man at the scene and a CareFlight Rapid Response Helicopter landed in a nearby park just before 2.30pm.

A 29-year-old man was taken to hospital with serious burns after his shisha caught on fire 


Shisha is an ancient form of smoking, also called narghile, waterpipe, or hookah, which uses charcoal-heated tobacco or non-tobacco based shisha smoke which is passed through water before inhalation.

It is often seen as less toxic compared to cigarettes

Hookah smokers can spend long periods of time in lounges and bars inhaling the fumes.

A typical hookah session lasting one hour involves 200 puffs, which results in 90,000 milliliters of smoke being inhaled.

Smoking a cigarette involves 20 puffs, resulting in 500-600 milliliters of smoke being inhaled, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

But mounting evidence finds smoking shisha is not safe.

NSW Fire and Rescue crews and NSW Police also responded.   

The paramedics placed the man in an induced coma to stabilise him. 

He was taken to the specialist burns unit at Concord Hospital in a serious but stable condition.  

Cancer Institute NSW chief executive Professor David Currow told The Pulse that smoking shisha is not a safe alternative for smoking tobacco and that people should be aware of the inherent risks of smoking in any form.

‘A person who smokes shisha is at risk of the same health problems that a person who smokes cigarettes faces, including cancer and respiratory illness,’ Professor Currow said.

‘While these products, also called ”herbal shisha”, may not contain the nicotine in tobacco, the smoke contains highly toxic substances.

‘The addition of fruit flavouring and sweeteners does not reduce the harmful effects of the smoke.’

The man was smoking shisha with his family in North Parramatta on Saturday afternoon

The man was smoking shisha with his family in North Parramatta on Saturday afternoon