Last week approximately 200 people had to be evacuated from a fire in the ducting system at Federal House in central Auckland. Fire Service spokesman Steve Smith said the fire was a third alarm category and 12 firefighting appliances and around 50 staff responded. The first call came to the Fire Service at 1.57pm and it was linked to an alarm in Federal House.
SkyCity spokesman Colin Espiner said all staff at Federal House had been evacuated and smoke could be seen from the top of the Federal House building.
Federal House is the SkyCity casino complex administration building. Mr Espiner said the casino and hotel had not been evacuated. Lunch time diners were rushed out of restaurants on the popular strip. Workers on office buildings near SkyCity had been evacuated after a fire in the chimney ductings. Crowds of workers were on Albert and Federal Streets after the 2pm incident. There was a thick smell of smoke in the area.
Mr Carroll said: “There is a large amount of ducting that goes through the kitchens in all these restaurants.
Federal House, and the restaurants at ground level – Federal St Deli, Depot as well as Masu were all evacuated. Hundreds of people were crowded at the base of the after being evacuated from the building. An employee in the AA building, near the Federal House building, said smoke from the fire had filled his building, which was also evacuated.
One witness said the smoke first looked to be a brown and yellow colour, before appearing to change to grey.
Auckland diner at Masu, Ming Xia, said she had just started her lunch when she smelled smoke. “We had just started, we hadn’t finished yet. “We smelled smoke and then the staff told us we have to go.” It was not frightening, she said.
Fire Service spokesman Dave Carroll said a fire was extinguished but more work was needed to ensure no others started.