An elderly resident was rescued from an apartment building in Auckland early this morning, after a fire at a ground floor cafe caused widespread smoke damage to the building.
Ocean Breeze apartments in Brown's Bay were evacuated shortly after 3.30am after a fire started in the Beach Bistro cafe at he bottom of the building on Beachfront Ln.
Fire Service spokesman Jarron Philips said there was a large amount of smoke from the fire that spread throughout the building, and into those adjacent.
"There was a large amount of smoke in those apartments, and it was evacuated. One elderly person was rescued from the second floor," he said.
A St John spokeswoman said an ambulance was sent to the scene to treat the person, but did not transport her to hospital.
Herald videographer Daniel Hines was at the scene and said the residents, mainly elderly people, were not allowed back inside until about 6.30am.
They were huddled inside the ambulance to keep warm, he said.
"Fire crews also had to break into three shops at the back of the building, on Clyde Rd, due to the smoke spreading."
The shops included Subway and Noodle Canteen.
Mr Philips said crews quickly extinguished the fire, but were still at the scene ventilating the building.
Fire investigators were also on site determining what sparked the blaze.
Beach Bistro cafe owners Stephen Laird and Anita Chan were on their way to see the damage shortly after 7am today.
Fire Service investigator Gary Beer said there was no one in the cafe at the time, and it did not appear to be suspicious.
"There was quite extensive smoke damage," he said. "There's been a moderate fire in the storeroom at the rear and the smoke has gone right through building."
He said the elderly resident who was evacuated had to be treated for smoke inhalation at the scene, he said.
- Additional reporting from Newstalk ZB.