A mother and infant were forced to seek safety on the balcony of their fifth-floor apartment during a fire in central Auckland tonight.

The Fire Service tweeted the pair were "forced" to the balcony, because of a fire inside the apartment.

Fire fighters were called to The Beresford complex in Beresford Square about 5.30pm.

Fire Service spokesman Jaron Phillips said the woman and infant were "effectively trapped" on the balcony, from where the mother dialed 111.

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"The brigade arrived and she threw the keys down."

The small fire was quickly extinguished by the six units called to the scene and the mother and infant were not injured.