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Fire and Emergency New Zealand Southern Communications shift manager Andrew Norris said the fire began behind Kaikorai Valley College, near Marshall St, about 3am.
Just over an hour later crews of professional firefighters from St Kilda, Lookout Pt, Roslyn and Dunedin Central had the flames under control, he said.
Police had advised some nearby residents to evacuate from their homes but no property was damaged.
The cause of the blaze was this morning unknown and Fire investigator Mike Cahill, of Invercargill, is at the scene to try and determine its origin.