Firefighters have contained a large fire at a restaurant on Cuba Street in Wellington's CBD an hour after it broke out this afternoon.
Fire and Emergency New Zealand was called to the El Matador restaurant at 4.10pm.
There were no reports of injuries or people missing.
Thirteen fire trucks with seven pumps, two aerial units and four support units were at the scene.
Crews remain to look out for hotspots and a fire investigator is at the scene to determine the cause of the blaze.
The extent of damage is not yet known.
Yber Oliveira, who put in one of the calls to 111, saw the smoke get “very big and dark” quickly. Fire crews arrived around three minutes after he made the call.
Natalie Potaka Abel, a chef at a nearby café Midnight Espresso, was heading to her car when she saw the door to el Matador fling open with a “huge smoke cloud” coming out.
She said people on the street ran up to help evacuate residents living in the apartments above.
More than a dozen firefighters were setting up, with more appliances coming around the corner, Ms Abel said.
She believed it took fire crews around 10 minutes to get there.