A fire at Whangaparaoa College on Auckland's North Shore caused disruptions to class time today but the school has escaped with minimal damage.

Principal James Thomas said the school was evacuated at around 2.40pm today after a fire broke out behind the technology building.

He said the fire started in the disposal bin for a sawdust extraction unit and is believed to have been caused by a stray spark that was generated by an overheated appliance.

"Staff were using the equipment and it has overheated and a spark has found its way into the rubbish bag," he said.


Thomas said the fire alarm was activated and staff and students did well to adhere to evacuation regulations and get to safety.

"We got well away and made sure the kids were safe," he said.

Initially fire extinguishers were used on the fire until fire and emergency services arrived.

The Manly Volunteer Fire Brigade attended the callout.

Thomas said the sawdust extraction unit would have to be totally replaced, but the school sustained no further damage.

He said no one was hurt during the incident.