Firefighters spent two hours yesterday extinguishing a fire in a new piece of bitumen-melting plant stored on the property of a Hastings roading company.

Russell Roads managing director Chris Russell said the plant had been imported from Europe by another company and a representative of the supplier was working on the unit at the time the fire started about 2.20pm.

Apparently built into a shipping container, it arrived at Russell Roads' site in Senamor Place, just west of the intersection of the Hawke's Bay Expressway and Omahu Rd, about a fortnight ago and was awaiting removal.

"We've been waiting for them to come and pick it up," Mr Russell said.

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Black smoke billowed over the area for a short time as the first of six fire service vehicles arrived. The fire remained within the plant and was fought initially with water but ultimately extinguished with what the Fire Service said was a small amount of foam.

No one was injured and while the unit was close to a building, there was no need to evacuate other than staff moving away from the immediate area, Mr Russell said.

"Something must have gone wrong," Mr Russell said.

"I guess there will have to be an investigation," he said.