Fire investigators to probe cause of large fire that engulfed Auckland lodge

Fire investigators will return to the scene of a large fire at an Auckland lodge to determine what ignited the blaze. 

City Garden Lodge on St Georges Bay Road in Parnell lit up in flames at around 4:40pm Sunday. 

At the fire's peak, 16 firetrucks were in attendance as Fire and Emergency (FENZ) pumped water over the burning two-storey building.   

Residents told Newshub on Sunday they could smell smoke coming from the 120-year-old building. 

"We went out to the balcony and saw a barrage of smoke and flames from next door," a neighbour told Newshub on Sunday. 

"Us and our neighbors were in shock at how large the fire had gotten, we have been watching from a safe distance, and making sure it didn't move close to our places." 

In an update on Monday morning, FENZ said the fire had been extinguished and staff had left the scene. A police  scene guard remains in place. 

The property was being used as a communal lodging facility and evacuations were undertaken on Sunday.  

Auckland Deputy Mayor Desley Simpson said people living at the lodge have been relocated and the council will be working with Health New Zealand Te Whatu Ora and the Ministry of Social Development (MSD) to make sure they are getting the support they need. 

"They're vulnerable people, they're MSD clients, and we just want to make sure that they are looked after," Simpson told Newshub. "It must have been very traumatic for them, as it has been for the neighbours and the community to see a fire of this size in Parnell." 

She said professionals will assess the building to determine what happens next. 

"It was a huge fire. You could see the smoke for miles and the flames were right to the top of the building. We had a lot of calls from residents concerned about the size of the fire," Simpson said. 

"I think it's always a tragedy when you get fire. There are always personal belongings that are lost." 

She said with Sunday being the end of daylight savings, it is a timely reminder for the public to check their smoke alarms in their home.