A building at a golf club in Rotorua was destroyed in a fire yesterday.

Emergency services spent the afternoon battling the fire at Lake View Golf Club.

At the time a police media spokeswoman said people were evacuated.

Seven fire appliances were seen dampening the flames of the fire which gutted the golf club on State Highway 5.

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Firefighters battle to put out a fire at Lake View Golf Course clubrooms. Photo / Stephen Parker
Firefighters battle to put out a fire at Lake View Golf Course clubrooms. Photo / Stephen Parker

Golfers had their afternoon cut short and about 20 people were seen looking on as firefighters fought the blaze.

Golfer Mike Patton had a beer in hand as he said he was lucky to have just finished the 18th hole when the blaze began.

He and three of his buddies from Hawke's Bay said it took all but five minutes for the entire clubhouse to become engulfed.

"It's amazing how quickly it happened," he said.

Firefighters battle to put out a fire at Lake View Golf Course clubrooms. Photo / Stephen Parker
Firefighters battle to put out a fire at Lake View Golf Course clubrooms. Photo / Stephen Parker

Small shrubs around the building were re-lighting as firefighters got to work and onlookers sat at surrounding picnic tables and in golf carts.

The smell of smoke was strong and firefighters managed to contain the damage to the building. The roof of the building looked as though it had caved in.

Fire can be seen destroying the clubhouse. Photo / Heli-Hire Ltd
Fire can be seen destroying the clubhouse. Photo / Heli-Hire Ltd

A group of 30 people from the National Service Club in Hawke's Bay were in Rotorua to try out the different golf courses when the fire broke out.

The Lakeview course was the second of three courses they would try. The others included the Springfield course and Rotorua Golf Club.

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Kim Elers said they were on the course when they saw the smoke and someone ahead of them said the clubhouse was on fire.

This was not the first time the club had been affected by fire.

On Christmas Day in 2013 fire services were called to the two-bedroom flat, alongside the driving range.

The flat's occupier, who did not want to be named, told the Rotorua Daily Post he had been heading to Auckland to visit his brother but had first gone into Rotorua to fill up his car with petrol.

On the way back out past the golf club, he saw "a lot of smoke" coming from the direction of his home so went to investigate.

"It was ablaze ... the whole front was flames coming out everywhere and explosions," he said.

"I'd only just left, maybe 30 minutes [before]."

He called 111 but the fire crews were already on the way, after being alerted by a neighbour.

The flat was owned by the golf club and was one of two former motel units which were moved to the site in 1991, golf club president Murray Donaldson said at the time.