The cause of a spectacular fire at the Port of Tauranga on Friday has been identified.

Bay of Plenty specialist fire investigator Luke Burgess told the Bay of Plenty Times: "At this point, it appears that the fire started from charging batteries for power tools."

Fire burns through a workshop at the Port of Tauranga. Photo / Andrew Warner
Fire burns through a workshop at the Port of Tauranga. Photo / Andrew Warner

The batteries were believed to have been on a shelf when the fire started, spreading through the workshop.

"I'm still doing a bit of research but it certainly appears to be around that."

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The batteries were in the northeast back corner of the workshop.

Just after 11.30am on Friday, firefighters were called to a building fire at the port's Sulphur Point entrance.

A large fireball had engulfed an electrical and mechanical workshop and adjoining office building.

Three vehicles parked nearby were also damaged.

Read more: Fire tears through workshop at Port of Tauranga

Burgess said the fire was a timely reminder of how important registered evacuation schemes were for businesses.

He commended Port of Tauranga staff for their successful evacuation and said if any businesses wanted to check their evacuation procedures, they could do so by visiting the Fire and Emergency New Zealand website here and searching "evacuation schemes".

Registered evacuation schemes should be updated every six months.

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