TODAY |

Firefighters continue to battle blaze involving gas cylinders at SkyCity's National Convention Centre

Firefighters have not yet managed to contain a "very challenging" fire that broke out on the roof of SkyCity's National Convention Centre in Auckland this afternoon.

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Workers have evacuated onto the streets near the Sky Tower. Source: 1 NEWS

Smoke from the fire can be seen across the city and a massive Fire and Emergency NZ response has seen roads around the Sky Tower closed to the public.

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The blaze has closed streets around the Sky Tower. Source: 1 NEWS

Dave Woon, Assistant Area Commander for Fire and Emergency NZ Auckland, gave an update on the situation just after 3:30pm.

"The fire is burning on the 7th floor and has spread down to the 6th floor. Firefighters are battling the blaze inside the building and are using breathing apparatuses to combat smoke inhalation.

"It is a large fire involving gas cylinders that started around the roof and guttering area and there is insulation on fire that appears to be straw making it a very challenging fire to extinguish.

"We are not yet on top of the fire but should be able to make progress with resources that have arrived," Mr Woon says.

One person is in hospital in serious condition after the fire.

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Flames can be seen coming from Sky City’s partly-built convention centre in central Auckland. Source: 1 NEWS

A worker told 1 NEWS they didn't know what had happened, but all of a sudden they had been "rushed out". 

A Fire and Emergency spokesperson told 1 NEWS 23 fire trucks are at the scene, including an aerial appliance from Hamilton. 

Motorists are being told to avoid the CBD, and members of the public should stay away from the cordons. 

In a statement from SkyCity, a spokesperson said: "Just after 1pm today a fire broke out at the New Zealand International Convention Centre. The fire is not yet under control. We can confirm that everyone has been evacuated from the NZICC and there have been no reported injuries."

"We are working closely with Fletcher’s and the Fire Service to gather as much information as possible, we do not know the source of the fire at this stage. We are currently assessing the situation and the damage.

"The safety of our staff and all people on site is our priority. We will update with further information as it comes to hand."

In a statement to 1 NEWS, a spokesperson from Fletcher's - who are building the convention centre - said: "Our people and contractors are our number one priority right now".

Architect Richard Archbold has tweeted about the fire.

He’s been a lead on the New Zealand International Convention Centre.

“All our team are safely offsite, and to our knowledge so is everyone else. This is too awful” he tweeted.
 

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The fire broke out just after 1pm this afternoon. Source: 1 NEWS

The $700 million convention centre has already been hit by delays, and was originally expected to be open by now. 

Thick smoke engulfed the Sky Tower. Source: 1 NEWS

Flames could be seen in the Convention Centre construction site. Source: 1 NEWS