Two people have been rescued from the top floor of a burning building in Kilbirnie, but their two cats are still uncounted for.
Ginell Sim told the Herald she and her flatmate were at home in their apartment above Care Vets, when they noticed smoke pouring into the building.
"She opened the front door and flames just came all the way in. We grabbed the fire extinguisher and just got the stuff out that was inside."
She says the pair's cats ran into the roof of the building, but there was no time to try and find them.
"The fire brigade was already there...we had to go through my bedroom window, because it comes on to the roof and they made us duck down in a spot because of all the flames."
She says she has no idea if her cats are safe as they are unable to get back into the building – but her flatmate had just enough time to grab their pet lizard and put it into a bag before escaping the flames.
"It's down at Animates at the moment being looked after."
Fire and Emergency shift manager Chris Dalton told the Herald they were called to the blaze shortly before noon on Tuesday, and currently have four trucks on site.
Two people were rescued from the top floor of the building using a ladder and have "a bit of smoke inhalation".
David Miller from Newtown Fire Station told the Herald the fire has been extinguished and crews are now on-site dampening down hot spots.
He says the two people were rescued from the building by a rescue team while a second team battled the fire below.
Miller says they don't know how the fire started but hopefully investigators will be able to shed some light on the situation.
Care Vet owner Nick Cooper told the Herald the fire started upstairs in the apartments.
"The team is safe, people got out safely – we can fix a building, we can fix other things but we can't fix people."
He said his team did "a fantastic job" getting all the animals out safely.
Owner of neighbouring business A1 Roofing Rob Purdom was not in Wellington at the time but received a call about the fire just before 11am.
"My mate drove by and said 'your buildings on fire!'" he said.
"The fire was going pretty good when they went by, but I heard they got all the animals out."
He said they then rang their tenants who made sure everyone got out of the building.
There had been no damage to their building, but Purdom had been told the workshop at the front smelt of smoke.