The blaze, which has now been extinguished, quickly tore through the station’s covering structure as it sent large plumes of smoke into the night sky.

Minor injuries were reported but no one was taken to hospital, a Fire and Emergency New Zealand spokesperson said. 

Authorities are still working to determine the cause of the fire, and it is not being treated as suspicious.

Police said the fire appeared to have been caused by a container of fuel being put inside a car, and then being ignited by a cigarette lighter.

Eastern District Criminal Investigations Manager Rob Jones said “while the cause of the fire is yet to be officially determined by Fire and Emergency NZ (FENZ) and Police investigators, preliminary enquiries have established a container of petrol was filled, placed inside a vehicle, and subsequently ignited by a flame from a cigarette lighter.

“Initial indications are this was accidental however Police will continue to review all facts in conjunction with FENZ.”

A spokesperson for BP said “safety is always our top priority and staff acted quickly to evacuate the site before calling emergency services, who then managed the situation.”

The station is temporarily closed and police and FENZ are investigating the scene.

Police said they had spoken to a number of people about the fire already, and are asking anyone with information or video footage of the fire to come forward by calling 105 and quoting file number 210116/6262.

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