A major rubbish fire at a recycling plant in Auckland took 15 crews to put out after a conveyor belt spread flames across the site.

The fire broke out at the Green Gorilla waste processing plant on Victoria St in Onehunga.

Crews were first sent to the site at 11.40pm following a sprinkler system alert, according to Fire and Emergency NZ assistant area commander for Auckland City Barry Fox.

En route they were advised multiple people had reported fire coming out of the roof.

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"We've had a well-established fire in a conveyor belt system that moves the rubbish around, and that's transferred the fire from one side of the site to the other," Fox said.

Two aerial appliances and at least 10 standard appliances were at the scene.

"The conveyor belt is quite elevated so we've used the turntable ladder to extinguish the fire in the upper reaches of the building, and ground crews put the fire out in the lower areas.

Barry Fox, FENZ assistant area commander for Auckland City, said the fire was moved through the site by a conveyor belt. Photo / Sam Sword
Barry Fox, FENZ assistant area commander for Auckland City, said the fire was moved through the site by a conveyor belt. Photo / Sam Sword

"We will have a crew here for rest of the night in case there's hot spots we've not picked up. Because the rubbish is so deep-seated there is potential for the fire to smoulder."

Fox said the rubbish was general household waste. They had been assured there was no asbestos mixed in but crews were decontaminated as a precaution.

Fire and Emergency NZ northern shift manager Daniel Nicholsen this morning said the fire was confirmed out at just after 1am. Fifteen crews had attended the fire, which did not spread to the main building.

Nobody had been hurt in the blaze.

"Fire investigators will be returning this morning to investigate the cause."