A working sprinkler system is being credited for containing a fire in a switchboard at Auckland University.

Six fire crews were called to the ground floor of the 11-storey Social Sciences Building at 3.30am, where Fire and Emergency assistant area commander John Booth said there was a fire in a high-voltage switchboard.

He said Vector turned off the electricity and the blaze was then extinguished quickly.

He says the sprinkler system in the building contained the fire so it did not spread into the main part of the building.

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Booth said the fire filled the building with smoke.