Firefighters from around the region are still on the scene of a blaze at a coastal Taranaki bar and restaurant.
Eye witness Nigel Carter said the fire at the Opunake Surf Inn started around midday but firefighters now had the blaze under control.
"I watched it burn for about an hour. I was just having a coffee across the road and there was this explosion that sounded like a car backfiring and then these clouds of smoke started poring out the back," Cater said.
"There was lots of smelly, black, dark smoke pouring through the upper windows too. I would say the place is wrecked.
"The locals were all watching and were quite interested because the place was actually on the market."
Crews from five fire engines, from Opunake, Kaponga, Rahotu and Manaia, were called to the fire at Opunake Surf Inn at about 12.10pm, a spokesman from fire central communications said.
The fire is believed to have started in the kitchen, and firefighters were still on the scene and working to fully extinguish the fire, he said.
Everyone had been evacuated from the popular Tasman St bar, restaurant and live music venue, he said.
- Taranaki Daily News