'Massive fire' breaks out near Winter Olympics villages

A massive fire has broken out in South Korea near the Winter Olympics athlete and media villages on Thursday (NZ time).

It appears to have started in an apartment block in Gangneung, the city where indoor events are being held.

Journalists have been sent emergency alerts warning them on their phones.

Newshub journalist Mike McRoberts is there on the scene to report on the Winter Olympics.

"About an hour ago I received an alert saying there was an emergency situation," he says.

"It's not in the village itself; it's the hall in the city of Gangneung. At this stage there are no athletes or officials or media who are under any threat. But it can be seen from the athletes' village."

McRoberts says the emergency alert caused some alarm due to the language barrier.

"One of the issues with the emergency alert was that it's in Korean, so we all kind of scratched our heads as the international media here wondering what it was about," he laughs.  

"It took us some time to trace down that the fire wasn't actually in the athletes' village but near it - so we can safely assume that the athletes are ok."

"An emergency alert just blasted phones here in South Korea," wrote reporter Chris Kamrani on Twitter.

"Looks like it's due to the massive fire we have a front-row seat for in our 16th-floor apartment."

Newshub.