A large fire in a waterfront cafe and bar in Gisborne last night which forced patrons from nearby businesses to flee has been brought under control.
The Fire Service said the fire broke out in the kitchen of the two-storey Wharf Bar and Cafe on the Esplanade about 8pm.
Five fire crews spent close to two hours working to contain the fire, which quickly spread through the roof space of the two-storey building and generated massive plumes of smoke.
A staff member at the Rivers Restaurant and Bar, near the scene, said customers from other businesses in the area had been coming in to escape the thick black smoke from the fire.
"We have had a few people come in from over there and let us know what was happening.
"Customers were quite concerned about the safety of the people over there, but we understand the building that was on fire was closed and the people in the buildings near to it were evacuated."
A Fire Service spokeswoman said no-one was injured.
Fire crews were able to keep the fire from spreading to the outside of the building, but the interior was severely damaged.
Investigators are working to establish what sparked the blaze
Meanwhile, another fire in Gisborne last night was also contained.
Crews from nine fire trucks were sent to the scrub fire, near Oswald Street, in Gisborne, but have now left the scene. Two trucks had to be diverted from the waterfront fire.