The bottom level of a three-storey Housing New Zealand block of units caught fire in Point England this afternoon.
The fire service was called to the state housing block on Tripoli Rd about 12.30pm and found a single unit well ablaze, fire service spokesman Jaron Phillips said.
The male resident of the unit was sleeping at the time but was alerted to the danger when his fire alarm went off. This triggered the alarm system for the whole building to sound and all residents were able to be evacuated safely.
There were no reported injuries.
"Theoretically if there had been no smoke alarm in the place, the guy could have died. Daylight savings finishes this weekend so it's a good time to check if your smoke alarms are working," St Heliers Fire Station manager Rodney Janes said.
Firefighters had prevented the flames from spreading to the upper levels.
A fire safety investigator was due at the scene this afternoon to determine how the fire started.
- © Fairfax NZ News