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UPDATE 10.30am: A fire that caused $50,000 damage to a villa in a Merriwa retirement village this morning is believed to have started in an air conditioning unit.

Firefighters were called to the blaze at RAAFA Estate on Hughie Edwards Drive just before 8am this morning.

The blaze was brought under control by 8.20am by six fire and rescue crews.

A Department of Fire and Emergency Services spokesman said residents were evacuated from the area of the retirement home affected by the fire.

He said the blaze started in an air conditioner in the roof and burnt down through the ducting into the kitchen below.

The kitchen sustained smoke damage.

A St John Ambulance spokesman said paramedics were called to the retirement village but were not required.