More than a dozen fire appliances have been battling a huge blaze that broke out in one of Auckland's industrial areas.

Reports came in just before 9pm that a fire had started in a factory building on Hugo Johnston Drive in Penrose, a Fire and Emergency spokeswoman said.

Upon arrival fire crews found the two-level building, measuring 40 by 30 metres, "well involved".

Fire fighters at the scene. Photo / Will Trafford
Fire fighters at the scene. Photo / Will Trafford

It appeared to have begun in the upstairs area but had escalated since.

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"We've now gone to third alarm - it is very well involved," the spokeswoman said.

Firefighters at the scene. Photo / Will Trafford
Firefighters at the scene. Photo / Will Trafford

Assistant area commander Shaun Thornton said at about 10.30pm the fire had been brought under control.

They had about 15 fire appliances battling the blaze, which had spread to a second building.

One of the buildings appeared to process commercial cooking oils.

There was no indication of a cause at this stage, nor reports of anyone being in the building.

Fire investigators are at the scene.

A witness told the Herald it was very smokey and there was a "strong smell of plastic" in the air.

Reports of the Penrose, Auckland, factory fire came in just before 9pm. Photo / Google
Reports of the Penrose, Auckland, factory fire came in just before 9pm. Photo / Google