Nicholas Young thought it was just a fire drill - until he opened the door and saw nothing but smoke.
"I was absolutely freaked. The first thought was 'smoke ... get out, get out'."
The 19-year-old Mitre 10 employee was at the back of the store packing up for the day when he heard the fire alarm go off.
"I didn't realise there was a fire until I got out into the main building and saw it half-filled with smoke - and man, that was scary.
"There were explosions going off - I believe it was the transformer from outside which blew up and caused a surge of power into the store ... "
Mr Young was the last person out of the store. He said he could hear his fellow workers outside, yelling to him to get out.
"I saw this massive flame about 10 metres away smash the windows on the other side and I ran.
"Another 90 seconds and who knows what would've happened to me - I could've been trapped. It's scary, with all the LPG cylinders and butane gas canisters. I wouldn't want to be in there in a fire."By Vaimoana Tapaleao Email Vaimoana