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A fire has broken out in a central Auckland building, closing Queen St in both directions.
At least eight fire engines are at the scene of the fire and smoke can be seen coming out of the building.
Queen St is closed in both directions between Mayoral Dr and Karangahape Rd, causing "traffic chaos".
Taxi driver Vinay Kumar was parked at the rank in Turner St and phoned 111 when he saw smoke coming from the building.
"I went close to observe and saw flames inside from the window. I quickly rang 111 fire department and reported the fire and I was still on phone when first fire crew came.
"By the time I hung up the building was totally engulfed with windows breaking and flames coming out with thick black smoke."
The thick smoke forced Kumar to move his car further from the scene to be safe.
Fire area commander Richard Twomey said the fire started in a kitchen on the third floor of the centre of the building.
"It was quite well involved when we got here and it was starting to spread to the upper floors," he said.
"We have it contained at the moment it's just that the building is heavily smoke logged so we are in the mop up phase at the moment."
Twomey said there were people in the building at the time but they all got evacuated safely.
"When we arrived we were told that there was possibly people in there so we searched the buildings and luckily all the people were out."
He said there were no injuries at this stage.