A fire that sparked the evacuation of a five-star high rise hotel in downtown Auckland tonight has now been extinguished and guests have been allowed back to their rooms.
Fourteen appliances and over 50 firefighters responded to the blaze at the 14-level Pullman Hotel.
Auckland fire area Assistant Area Commander Dave Woon told NZME the blaze broke out on the 10th floor of a Pullman residential tower and was confined to one room.
The fire is believed to have started in an air conditioning or electrical duct. It was extinguished quickly but at least one other floor was smoke-logged.
Fire personnel went room to room trying to clear the hotel but were still struggling to get everyone out an hour after the first alarm, Woon said.
"I can only stress how difficult it is when people don't evacuate out of a building - it makes our job a heck of a lot harder.
"Our people initially were told to go to the 11th floor - again we have to work with the information we've got, we then found it was on the 10th."
No one was injured but it's possible some guests had suffered smoke inhalation, Woon said.
Hotel guest Rory Collins told Newstalk ZB he had been dozing in his room on the ninth floor when the fire started.
"I heard the alarm going off but the volume was pretty low so I thought I was dreaming for a while," the Irishman said.
"I went out and checked the corridor and there was no one there so I kind of thought about it for a while - then I grabbed my phone and my key and walked up the corridor. I could hear it was a bit louder. But it was really bizarre because there was noone else on my floor."
He found the fire exit and walked down to safety, meeting one other man in the stairwell. "There wasn't much panic going on or anything."
As fire crews checked the building, people congregated outside the hotel, some wearing bath robes, and staff were handing out blankets and water.
The five star luxury hotel and serviced apartments complex is situated on the corner of Princes St and Waterloo Quadrant.
The hotel has 340 rooms, suites and self-contained apartments. It's one of Auckland's largest five-star facilities.
Several aerial appliances were brought in to tackle the fire from the air.
Auckland Fire Comms shift manager Colin Underdown earlier told the Herald fire had broken out on an upper floor, leaving several floors smoke-logged.
Fire personnel were clearing the building and checking rooms for people.
Emergency services were alerted to the incident at 9.14pm.
People are commenting about the emergency on social media.
"I was heading to my room when we were told to get out immediately!" a guest wrote on Facebook.
"Hope everyone is ok, are you standing outside in your PJs'??" another responded.
"Hope it's not too long of a night for you and everyone."
Another person wrote: "Everyone's been evacuated but it IS a genuine fire!"
A staff member at the hotel who spoke to the Herald by phone said it was "just a small fire".
The building had been evacuated as a precaution, he said.
"The firemen are working on it. All the rooms are being cleared and checked."
He would not say how many guests were staying in the hotel.
A guest said they were asked to leave about 9:30pm as there was a fire on the 11th floor.
"Apparently it's contained however everyone is evacuated and there is about 6 fire appliances."
She said kids were standing outside in their PJs and the Pullman had given out blankets to guests.