An apartment block was evacuated tonight as eight fire crews battled a blaze in downtown Auckland.

Northern fire service shift manager Scott Osmond said emergency services were called at 9.10pm to the fire in a building on Customs St West.

The cause of the fire was still unclear but it was contained in one apartment, he said. The fire has now been extinguished.

"It's all out - they're just cleaning up now," Osmond said.

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However the whole building was evacuated as a precaution. He did not know if people had been allowed back into the building.

Local resident Alexandrea Van Kampen could see "a lot of smoke" from her vantage point on nearby Market Place. Evacuees were milling in the street below.

The building on Customs St West was evacuated after a fourth-floor apartment filled with smoke. Photo/Supplied
The building on Customs St West was evacuated after a fourth-floor apartment filled with smoke. Photo/Supplied

She said the fire was in the fourth floor of the five-storey building.

"All of a sudden there were fire alarms going off, and all of that block was evacuated, and the block next door as well."

She understood the home's resident was away on holiday.