A 20-year-old Pakistani man was in critical condition after his long beard caught fire while he was cooking in a kitchen in North Point on Hong Kong Island on Wednesday.

The man, who had a long beard reaching to his chest, suffered serious burn to his face, nose, neck and chest and was in Queen Mary Hospital, the Oriental Daily reported.

Reports said he was unemployed after graduating from secondary school last year and lived with his family and relatives in an apartment at 92 Java Road in North Point. He liked making snacks late at night.

At 2:30 am, when he went to cook in the kitchen, he tried to switch on the gas stove but it failed to ignite. He tried again and a fire broke out and his long beard was burned from his chest to his face.

His cousin rushed to the kitchen and put out the fire, but the man had been seriously injured. His family called the police.

Firefighters arrived and put protective masks on his face before sending him to the hospital. They checked the stove but found nothing suspicious.