More than a dozen fire crews raced to the newly opened Commercial Bay shopping centre in Auckland's CBD last night after a fire broke out on the 22nd floor.
A fire in a 2m by 1m skip on the multimillion-dollar highrise construction site set off the building's sprinklers and alerted emergency services, Fire and Emergency NZ (Fenz) said.
Northern fire communications shift manager Craig Dally said crews were called to the city centre shortly after 11.15pm.
Upon arrival, firefighters found smoke spreading through the lobby of the building, triggering a third alarm.
At the scene late last night, assistant area commander Roger Callister said the fire started in a small bin on the 22nd floor, where people had reported seeing smoke.
It appeared a sprinkler system installed on the floor had helped to stop the fire from spreading any further.
"The sprinkler system had activated and extinguished most of that fire," Callister said.
"Our crews started looking for hotspots within the skip bin and tried to start removing the smoke."
Firefighters heading to the scene had a few issues getting to the building at the time, Callister said, due to road cones in and around the area.
A Fletcher construction site manager was being spoken to by Fire and Emergency.
"We had no workers here, working on the tower," the man said.
Fenz staff expressed concern that this was the second fire at a major commercial site in the city centre in recent months - referring to a blaze at the SkyCity convention centre that burned for several days after igniting on October 22.
Fourteen crews attended last night's fire - from Auckland City, Parnell, Grey Lynn, Balmoral, Remuera, Mount Roskill, Ellerslie, Te Atatū, Birkenhead and Takapuna fire stations.
Operation support and executive officers also attended.
Shortly before midnight, Dally said, the blaze was out. A spokesman said this morning that fire crews left the scene about 1.30am.
The fire was contained to the 22nd floor by the building's sprinkler system. An investigator was en route to the scene.
Motorists were advised to follow detours in the area.
There were no reports of injuries.
The shopping centre on the bottom floor of the building opened earlier this month and was hailed as a chance for the struggling retail sector to rebuild after the Covid-19 pandemic.
Trading at Commercial Bay got off to a booming start, with almost a quarter of a million people visiting the downtown shopping centre in its first four days.
The 18,000sq m retail and dining precinct in Auckland city centre opened for the first time on Thursday June 11, with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern officially opening the site.