Ben Hill is a reporter for The New Zealand Herald

Eight workers injured in South Auckland fire

Staff returning to work following an evacuation at the Sleepyhead premises in Otahuhu after a fire. Photo / Jason Oxenham.
Staff returning to work following an evacuation at the Sleepyhead premises in Otahuhu after a fire. Photo / Jason Oxenham.

Eight workers were treated for smoke inhalation after a fire broke out at a Sleepyhead store in South Auckland.

The fire began in a foam grinding machine at Sleepyhead Commercial on Great South Rd, Otahuhu.

Fifteen fire trucks were at the back of the building, which backs on to Saleyards Rd, Otahuhu. Police officers were also at the scene in unmarked cars.

A statement from Sleepyhead's parent company the Comfort Group said that as a precautionary measure, eight workers who initially extinguished the fire had been taken to hospital for observation.

Six workers had been released and two remained under observation.

The statement added: "This morning we have experienced a small fire event which was contained within a single machine, inside our underlay plant.

"The fire was immediately suppressed by the staff following standard site emergency protocols.

"Fire services were immediately notified and are assisting to ensure that the fire is completely extinguished."

The statement said all staff were evacuated.

"We take the health and wellbeing of our team as our number one priority. A full investigation into the incident has commenced.

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"The site will recommence as soon as we obtain clearance for safe operation."

Firefighters could be seen walking in and out of an area inside the building, but no flames were seen. There was no smoke in the vicinity.

A Fire Service spokesman said there was no structural damage to the store, and they were checking the ducts of the building to ensure the fire was completely out.

Fire Services in attendance on the Saleyards Rd entrance following an evacuation at the Sleepyhead premises in Otahuhu. Photo / Jason Oxenham
Fire Services in attendance on the Saleyards Rd entrance following an evacuation at the Sleepyhead premises in Otahuhu. Photo / Jason Oxenham

A reporter at the scene said that just before 11am, ambulance staff and police officers could be seen inside the gates of the site.

Dozens of workers who had been evacuated stood outside in the carpark as emergency services carried out their work inside.

Traffic in the area - particularly Saleyards Rd - was congested.

- NZ Herald

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