Armed police were called to a barbershop fire in Henderson overnight.

Fire and Emergency New Zealand (Fenz) were called to the fire at around 11.50pm Friday, where they found the Babylon Barbers shop engulfed in flames.

A second alarm was triggered, prompting further crews to arrive at the Rathgar Rd store.

"We had five fire appliances at the scene," a Fenz spokesman said at the scene.

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"The fire was well-involved when we arrived, we were able to attack it, bringing it under control."

Forty minutes after firefighters arrived at the shop, police arrived at the scene.

A witness told the Herald about 12 officers armed with semi-automatic rifles and handguns arrived with canine units.

A police spokeswoman said the officers' deployment was because of a mistaken report of an armed person in the area.

Officers instead arrived to find the barbershop alight. A scene guard remained in place overnight.

Firefighters worked past 4am to contain the fire, but the store was extensively damaged.

Fenz northern shift manager Kaisey Cook said a fire investigator would today visit the ruined 50m by 20m store.

There have been no reports of injuries.

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