Firefighters were called to a sulphur fire that ignited underneath a stretch of inner city Rotorua road.

Fire and Emergency northern communications shift manager Daniel Nicholson said one fire had begun melting a portion of Hinemaru St, outside the Ambassador Thermal Motel, at 2.25pm.

"There's smoke showing from the ground and the road is melting. It turns out that there is a sulphur fire outside the Ambassador Hotel ... this is an actual fire and we've got two trucks at either end of Hinemaru St."

Nicholson said it turned out to be a small fire that was extinguished by fire crews, who left the scene about 2.50pm.

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A Rotorua Daily Post reporter at the scene a small patch of what appeared to be melted tar was on the road.