A fire that broke out in the roof of a west Auckland hall may have damaged more than 600 paintings.
The fire service sent seven engines to the Titirangi Memorial Hall which was evacuated when the fire broke out, this afternoon.
About 40 local artists had been exhibiting their work at the council-owned hall for an annual event.
A member of the Titirangi Painters Club, Edith Diggle, said firefighters had moved the paintings into a lobby but had warned the artists their works may be damaged.
Ms Diggle said the artists could smell smoke for an hour before it became obvious there was a problem.
"No fire detectors sounded and I understand it was when somebody was outside and saw smoke rising from the roof, and flames, that they rushed inside and said 'the roof's on fire!'"
Ms Diggle said many paintings that had already sold may have to be refunded.