Dramatic photos of a car ablaze at Pakuranga Plaza yesterday show firefighters working to bring the inferno under control after it is believed to have caught fire on the motorway.

Fire services said they received a cluster of calls about the fire about 5pm on Saturday.

No one was in the car when fire services arrived and no one was hurt.

Henry Yee was waiting for his partner to finish shopping at the plaza when he saw smoke "billowing from the entrance".

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"I thought 'something's not right' so I went to have a look and there's a car on fire."

The occupants of a smoking car had pulled into the Plaza after a fire ignited beneath it, then quickly exited once they had parked.

About a minute after the occupants got out of the car the whole thing was ablaze, he said.

Fire services arrived shortly after and put the fire out.