Firefighter hospitalised after Mt Eden fire

By Hayden Donnell

The firefighter who suffered smoke inhalation while battling a large blaze in Mt Eden has been admitted to hospital overnight.

Fire crews were called to the blaze on the ground floor of the curtain manufacturer Lahood on Mt Eden Road about 9.40am.

More than 90 firefighters and 21 fire trucks were involved in battling the flames, which spread to the top floor and across the entire 30m by 60m building.

One firefighter was taken to Auckland Hospital suffering from smoke inhalation after going inside the building to battle the blaze.

A Fire Service spokeswoman this afternoon confirmed the injured man would be kept at hospital overnight for treatment and observation.

Earlier, Fire Service spokesman Jaron Phillips said businesses surrounding Lahood had to be evacuated because of smoke billowing across Mt Eden Rd.

Neighbouring business owner Martin Howard said the fire started in a back office and quickly spread throughout the entire building.

The blaze became so hot that paint outside the building started blistering and catching fire, Mr Howard said.

He had to evacuate his shop Mt Eden Coffee after the toxic smoke billowing out of the building starting affecting his employees.

"The whole building just caught fire and I think there's been a floor collapse inside. The smoke was very very bad...

"I didn't completely understand what was going to happen. Within four to five minutes it was just huge."

Mr Howard spoke to Peter Lahood, who owns the building, after his staff were evacuated.

"He said he was insured, but he also was saying things like 'jeez, I've lost everything'."

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