Visitors to the Rotorua Ngongotaha Rail Park got a bit of a surprise when the park's wooden station started "billowing smoke".

Fire crews were called to the scene after sparks from the miniature steam train started smouldering in the dry debris underneath the 2m by 5m building.

Rotorua Fire Brigade Senior Station Officer Colin Rolfe said two trucks were dispatched about 2.15pm.

Park manager Ann Egglestone said the smoke came from under the station platform and did not ignite.


"One of our volunteers noticed smoke billowing out of the sides of the platform and then it was all on from there.

"There were no flames, just a bit of smoke - but enough for us to call in the fire service rather than deal with it ourselves.

"We have to get our coal from a new supplier and it is much more sparky so we have to be careful during these drier months. I didn't realise how much dried debris had accumulated under there."

Ms Egglestone said they called the fire brigade because they were worried it was going to spark up and burn the structure down.

"Thankfully there has been no damage to the station, just a bit of extra entertainment for the visitors. The fire crews have done a good job dousing the area to make sure nothing is left smouldering.

"We're actually really lucky because we knock off at 4pm so if we hadn't noticed anything and went home for the day the whole station could have caught fire."

The park will be open again next Saturday and Sunday from 10am.