The blaze was seen from all around Rotorua this morning. Photo / Supplied161020fire.JPG
A large fire caused by unattended cooking on Riri St property this morning took over three and half hours to extinguish.
Four Fire and Emergency New Zealand crews were called to the blaze 7.50am.
The two-story industrial building is 20m by 10m and the fire was on the roof.
A spokesman said they had extinguished the fire by 10.30am. All people were accounted for.
Fire and Emergency NZ area commander Jeff Maunder said the fire was caused by unattended cooking.
He said fire crews received multiple calls about the blaze and it was well involved by the time firefighters arrived.
Maunder said the blaze was primarily contained to the upper floor of the building and neighbouring buildings had been protected by a firewall.
"The floor on the upper level was unstable, it was very thin and had been damaged by the fire so we had to access it externally."
He said the owner was not inside at the time the fire started.
"He had gone up the road and forgotten he had left something on the stove. It's a timely reminder to keep looking while you're cooking."
It was initially feared that one person may have been inside the building when the fire broke out.
A police media spokeswoman confirmed that all people in the building were accounted for 25 minutes after the initial reports of the fire.
A witness who works along Riri St said she noticed smoke when she arrived for work at 7.30am.
She said the smoke wasn't very noticeable at first but when she came back out "there were huge plumes of grey smoke high up in the sky".
She said it appeared firefighters had worked quickly to get the fire under control.
She was unsure whether people would have been in the building at this time.
Another witness said there were large flames coming out of the top of the building and the smoke was "so high you could see it from the other side of town".
He said it was a sizeable blaze but fire crews were able to get it under control "pretty quick".
The spokesman earlier said there were reports of one person possibly being inside.
Police and ambulance had been notified.
A St John media spokeswoman confirmed one person was treated for minor injuries but did not need to be taken to hospital.
She was unable to say what the injuries were.
B&T Blinds owner Jeff Herniman told the Rotorua Daily Post he noticed there was a fire on his drive to work when he saw "big black smoke billowing".
He said he was not worried about the fire spreading to his building which was separated by a few buildings.