Naked sex workers piled into hallways and a man was rescued from a smoke-logged room when a fire broke out at an Auckland brothel yesterday.
Witnesses inside the central city Femme Fatale massage and escort parlour said up to 20 people were forced to flee the building in the early hours of yesterday morning after a fire in the multi-storey Wellesley St building's laundry.
A pair of Aucklanders "enjoying a big night out" with old school friends were caught up in the top floor mayhem and described how sex workers and their clients were forced to run through thick smoke to get to the building's stairwells.
One of the witnesses, a 23-year-old Aucklander who did not want to be named, said men and women - some naked - poured into the smoke-filled hallways to dash for safety.
But one woman, who had left a client in her room, pleaded for help to go back and get the man.
"So I took off my shirt and covered our faces but couldn't get all the way back."
The man said fire rescuers found the man and he was taken to hospital suffering smoke inhalation.
One of the female sex workers, who was complaining of breathing difficulties, was also taken to hospital.
The witness said he made his way out of the building wearing just the pants he managed to pull on when the alarm was raised. He later went back to retrieve the rest of his clothing.
Femme Fatale management refused to comment on the fire but confirmed business was operating as normal yesterday.By Lynley Bilby