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Large Pukekohe arcade fire put out

Radio New Zealand logo Radio New Zealand 18/08/2016
A firefighter on scene at an incident. © RNZ / Claire Eastham-Farrelly A firefighter on scene at an incident.

A fire at a shopping arcade just south of Auckland has been put out, but fire crews are still checking that no-one is trapped in flats above.

The Pukekohe blaze started in the two-storey heritage-listed Beatty and Marshall's building above the King Street arcade about 4.45am. It has now been extinguished.

A Fire Service spokesperson said they were 98 percent sure no one was inside the building, but they were still checking.

Multiple adjoining shops also caught fire, a spokesperson said, and 19 fire engines from across New Zealand were called to the scene.

RNZ reporter Carla Penman was at the scene and said there were what was believed to be flats above the shops and firefighters were trying to gain access to the upstairs of the building.

She said there were fears some of the shops, which were all in very close proximity, had also been damaged but the fire was mostly around the Seahorse sushi restaurant.

The area's reticulated gas was shut off, and about 80 firefighters are at the scene.

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