Woman dead after driving through front of shop in Auckland

A woman has died after the car she was driving smashed through a shop in the Auckland suburb of Papatoetoe.

The shop owner said it's incredibly sad for the woman's family, but it could have been far worse had the crash happened just 10 minutes later - when the store was due to open.

The shop owner arrived minutes later to find the horrific scene.

"When I saw there was a car inside the store - then what I saw was the lady was stuck inside and there was smoke," Batra's Fashion Villa owner Sunny Batra told Newshub.

The owner of a nearby Indian sweets shop heard the crash.

"I ran over to see what we can do but it was very hard to take the lady out of the car and then I saw the fire came up and then I quickly got my fire steamer from the shop," Yadeshwar Pillay of Babu Sweets & Takeaway said.

He managed to extinguish the flames but could not reach the woman. She died at the scene.

Newshub understands she suffered a heart attack moments before the crash.

"These things we can fix but the loss for the family you can't fix you know," Batra said.

The shop owners expect it will take about five days to repair the building, and they'll be holding prayers there before they reopen.