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Mayor laments 'tragic day' as blaze causes 'significant' damage to historic Whangārei building

The fire that struck a historic building in Whangārei, Northland is now under control, according to emergency services.

A Fire and Emergency New Zealand spokesperson told 1 NEWS firefighters moved inside the Municipal Chambers Building on Bank Street to put out any fires there.

A specialist fire truck is en route from Auckland to access a fire on the roof.

The spokesperson said authorities did not yet know the full extent of the damage, but it looked to be "significant". A fire investigator is at the scene.

The blaze at Municipal Chambers Building in Whangārei. Source: Supplied / Kiran Sran

Fire trucks on the scene following a fire at the Municipal Chambers Building in Whangārei. Source: Supplied / Ash Young

Whangārei Mayor Sheryl Mai said it was a “tragic day” for the city.

She said the building was not fitted with sprinklers due to its age, but monthly checks of the building had been carried out.

“We know for certain it was checked regularly and was compliant,” she said.

“It is really sad. We’ll get to the bottom of what caused the fire.”

She thanked the firefighters for their work getting the blaze under control.

Thick smoke billows from the Municipal Chambers Building in Whangārei. Source: Supplied / Ash Young

Police at the scene of a fire at the Municipal Chambers Building in Whangārei. Source: Supplied / Joeun Mijoo Kim

Fire services were called at 12.45pm. Multiple fire engines were at the scene this afternoon. 

A police car at the scene of a fire at the Municipal Chambers Building in Whanārei. Source: Supplied / Joeun Mijoo Kim

Photos from the scene showed thick smoke billowing from the building.

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Emergency services were called to the Municipal Chambers Building on Bank Street shortly after noon. Source: Supplied