Firefighter injured in Mt Eden blaze

Crews battle 'intense' two-storey shop fire

AMY MAAS
Last updated 11:48 21/09/2012

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LATEST: A firefighter has been injured battling a large blaze at an Auckland home interior shop that closed roads and sent smoke billowing across the city.

Nearby businesses were evacuated as the fire took hold at Lahood, a two-storey shop on Mt Eden Rd, about 9.40am.

The fireman, one of 80 who attended the scene, was taken to a waiting ambulance.

The man was admitted to Auckland City Hospital after suffering smoke inhalation.

He was listed in a stable condition and was to be kept at the hospital overnight for observation.

Fire acting area commander Steve Lakin said the fire was in a building made of brick and timber so it "really, really quite hot".

"It was such an intense fire, it was a pretty tough call."

He said the crews "did really well" as smoke billowed into nearby shops and apartments.

Crews began dousing the flames inside and also "attacked" the building from outside, he said.

The fire was extinguished by about 11am and crews would continue to dampen hot spots.

Emergency call centres were swamped with calls from the public about 10am.

"It's unusual to get that number of calls and that tells us that there's something pretty special about this fire," he said.

Lahood co-owner Peter Lahood said he believed the fire had started in the roof, but he would wait for an investigation to determine the cause. None of his staff were injured.

"Everyone was accounted for within five minutes, we have pretty good evacuation procedures," he said.

Lahood Window Furnishings was established in 1992 as Lahood Curtain Corner on Hillsborough Rd.   The company moved to its Mt Eden premises in 2005.

At one stage a crowd of about 50 people gathered behind cordons to watch the drama unfold.

A neighbouring shop owner said she smelt the smoke and came outside.

Ana Braley, who works at NZ Strong, said she was upstairs and saw a "tiny bit of smoke and thought, 'oh that's not right'," and called the fire service.

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- Auckland Now

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