A fire is contained that broke out at Marsden Point oil refinery in Whangarei this afternoon.

Northern Fire Communications shift manager Daniel Nicholson said they got the call at 3.30pm to a fire under the furnace in Block A.

Crude oil had leaked onto the ground from a furnace tube. Currently 10 fire crews are discharging the crude oil onto the ground and containing the blaze until it burns off, Nicholson said.

"We're just containing the crude and letting it burn off and cooling down exposures."

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Nicholson said he did not know how large the fire was but no one was unaccounted for.

A refinery spokesman said an "incident" had broken out at Marsden Point.

More to come.