Offices in Ponsonby in Auckland have been badly damaged in a fire.

Around 30 firefighters from five stations were sent to a commercial building on Williamson Ave just before 10pm last night.

No one was inside so they had to force the door open.

Fire and Emergency northern communications shift manager Paul Radden said the second floor was well alight when crews arrived but they managed to contain it to that level.

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Radden said firefighters spent about three hours extinguishing the fire and dampening down.

He said a fire investigator had been at the offices to determine the cause.