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Teachers, parents watch helplessly as fire engulfs historic Auckland school

Firefighters are attending a major blaze at Auckland Normal Intermediate School in Mount Eden this afternoon that has spread to three buildings, causing one structure to cave in.

Fire communications have confirmed 90 firefighters are at the scene along with 22 appliances. 

They say the fire is ongoing. 

The fire reportedly started just before 3pm.

Blazes have sparked in the school hall, the science building and the technology building. Flames can be seen shooting from within the school hall, which has partially collapsed.  

Auckland Normal is the city's second-oldest intermediate school. 

Eyewitness Eru Bennett-Paul told 1 NEWS he was working at a nearby building 50 metres away when he noticed smoke billowing from a campus building.

A notice on the school's website says the school has been evacuated. 

"All staff and persons on site are safe and accounted for," the notice says. 

The school is due to open for term one on January 29.

A crowd of parents and neighbours have gathered near the gates at the school to watch as the situation unfolds.

Multiple fire crews and police are on the scene and an aerial appliance is being used to fight the blaze.

Residents along Disraeli Street have been evacuated from their homes, including one resident whose home sits next door to the burning building. 

She told 1 NEWS that earlier today work was being done on the roof of the school. A teacher told 1 NEWS the workers were using gas torches to cut drains. 

Auckland Transport has advised motorists to avoid the area, with Poronui Street now closed. 

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    NZ Fire Service Area Commander Richard Twomey detailed the unfolding situation this afternoon. Source: 1 NEWS


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