A FIRE in a pile of towels has sparked an early morning emergency at Richmond headquarters.

The Metropolitan Fire Brigade was called to Punt Road at 6.14am on Thursday.

"The pool and reception area were evacuated as smoke began to fill the building," the MFB said in a statement.

"The fire was quickly extinguished and special fans used to extract the smoke from the premises."

The MFB speculated the fire could have been caused by a chemical reaction from towels being used to mop up spilled pool chemical before being placed in a washing pile.

"Apart from the smoke and chemical smell, there was no damage to the facility," the statement said.

Richmond coach Damien Hardwick said the club was a little lucky that the fire was confined to a small space and no real damage was done, praising the quick action of the club's property steward Giuseppe Mamone. 

"We were pretty lucky from our point of view we had Giuseppe here in that situation," Hardwick said.