Tenants of The Mooring Apartments in Mount Maunganui had to evacuate for up to an hour while the fire brigade put out a fire and cleared the smoke-filled building.

Tauranga Fire Brigade senior station officer Mania Durham said at 6.23am this morning the brigade was called to the four-storey building, after a small fire started in the electrics room on the ground floor.

Mr Graham said for some reason some of the wiring caught fire, but luckily the smafire was contained within the room, however there was significant smoke throughout the building.

"When we arrived there were about 30 people already standing outside...We found the source of the fire pretty quickly. Once we put it out we were there for about half-an-hour to an hour trying to clear all the smoke from the building."

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Mr Graham said fortunately only one area of the electrical room sustained damage, which included melted plastic coating surrounding the lighting switches.