An overnight fire at an Auckland secondary school hostel where pupils were sleeping is being treated as arson.
Students and staff at Mt Albert Grammar School were forced to evacuate from School House, on the school grounds, after the blaze broke out after midnight.
Fire and Emergency northern shift manager Daniel Nicholson said four fire engines raced to the central Auckland school where they discovered a fire in a dormitory near the back of the boarding block.
Everyone sleeping in the dormitories had been safely evacuated by the time fire crews arrived, he said.
Nicholson said although the fire wasn't large and quickly extinguished it was being treated as suspicious.
Police had been notified and fire investigators would return this morning to examine the cause.
Meanwhile, fire crews were still at the scene of a major blaze in a South Auckland restaurant which had been extensively damaged in a huge overnight blaze.
Sevenonetwo garden bar on Great South Rd was well involved when the alarm was raised just after 1am.
At the height of the blaze 14 fire crews were battling the flames.
The large restaurant, just up the road from popular theme park Rainbows End, took around an hour to bring under control.
Nicholson said two fire crews were still at the scene and investigators would be arriving this morning to determine the cause of the blaze.
It was not being treated as suspicious.
*An earlier version of the story said the blaze broke out in Broncos Steakhouse. Fire and Emergency New Zealand said the restaurant shared the same address as the fire-damaged business but was protected by a fire wall and not damaged. It remained open for dining.