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Landmark building on fire in Christchurch

Newshub logoNewshub 12/07/2019 Mark Quinlivan, Emily O'Connell, Dave Goosselink
a blurry photo of a fire © Video - Newshub; Image - Facebook

Properties have been evacuated as firefighters battle a large blaze in an abandoned building in the Christchurch suburb of Riccarton.

Crews from throughout the city responded to the fire on Riccarton Rd.

A Fire and Emergency New Zealand spokesperson told Newshub the building, known as Antonio Hall - a gothic mansion which has been derelict for years, was well involved in fire.

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Crews were called to the scene about 5:20pm, the spokesperson said. At least six appliances were at the scene.

No-one was reported to be inside the building.

a blurry photo of a fire © Provided by MediaWorks NZ Limited

The spokesperson said firefighters would only fight the blaze from the outside, as it was too unsafe to enter the building.

A police spokeswoman told Newshub several properties in the area had been evacuated as precaution.

Witnesses had reported seeing parts of the building collapse.

A Christchurch Transport Operations Centre spokesperson said Riccarton Rd was closed to westbound traffic between Wharenui and Clyde Rds, and from Middleton Rd eastbound.

"Due to the size of the fire these closures are likely to be in place for some time.

"We are seeing major congestion on Riccarton Rd from Clarence St westbound and from Hansons Ln eastbound.

"We recommend that road users avoid using Riccarton Rd in the meantime, or expect significant delays."

Emergency services urged people to avoid the area.

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