Workers inside a Christchurch factory had to flee the building as it went up in flames at around 11:30pm on Thursday night.
The blaze was fuelled by the presence of large amounts of gelatine inside.
Though everyone escaped, the damage to the building was significant.
Craig Young, who was working across the road, said it “took off really quick.”
“I heard an explosion and [saw] big plume of smoke and lots of flames.”
Thirty fire-fighters and six fire trucks battled to control the fire from the ground, working into Friday morning to dampen down hot spots and assess damage.
Investigations are still continuing into how the midnight blaze began.