Fresh from battling a huge blaze in Mt Eden today, Auckland firefighters have tonight turned their attention to cats and dogs after being called out to a pair of daring pet rescues.

A cagey canine had to be rescued by firefighters after he found himself trapped under a large shipping container in West Auckland.

A fire truck was called to a property on Hunter Rd in Waitakere just before 8.30pm after reports of a small Jack Russell in difficulty.

Fire and Emergency NZ communications spokesman Daniel Nicholson said it appeared the inquisitive animal got into trouble after digging near the container.

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It took four fighters to get the dog out safely about 25 minutes later.

The call came shortly after firefighters were called to Coronation Rd, in Māngere, about 8.15pm following reports of - you guessed it - a cat trapped up a tree.

Nicholson said four firefighters were dispatched to that job and were attempting to get to the animal via a long ladder.

The cat was still in trouble at 8.45pm.

Earlier this evening, dozens of firefighters battled a huge blaze at a historic church building in Mt Eden that sent black smoke billowing into the sky which was visible across the city.