Kmart evacuated in Invercargill

Kmart in Invercargill has been evacuated this afternoon amid reports of smoke emerging from vents inside the building.

Firefighting crews from Invercargill and Kingswell attended.

A caller to emergency services shortly before 5pm reported seeing thick white smoke that "smelled weird", a Fire and Emergency New Zealand spokesman said.

Firefighters saw haze near the ceiling and an evacuation was in progress, he said.

Employees working in the building stood on the street as firefighters investigated.

One staff member, who wished to remain anonymous, said he had been told by a colleague there was smoke in the building but did not see or smell anything.

Invercargill station officer Bradley May said Kmart staff noticed a smoke-like substance coming from a vent and ‘‘being cautious’’, alerted emergency services.

It would take a while before firefighters would be able to determine the cause of the smoke.

By about 5.20pm workers were allowed to stand closer to the building but the doors remained closed while firefighters continued to work.

A Fenz spokesperson said this evening that by about 6.15pm the owners had access to the building again.


Add a Comment



Our journalists are your neighbours

We are the South's eyes and ears in crucial council meetings, at court hearings, on the sidelines of sporting events and on the frontline of breaking news.

As our region faces uncharted waters in the wake of a global pandemic, Otago Daily Times continues to bring you local stories that matter.

We employ local journalists and photographers to tell your stories, as other outlets cut local coverage in favour of stories told out of Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.

You can help us continue to bring you local news you can trust by becoming a supporter.

Become a Supporter