It happened at the four storey building on White Horse Yard, just off Westgate, at 5.15pm yesterday.
The fire started on the ground floor and at least 50 per cent of the floor was damaged.
One eyewitness reported seeing clouds of smoke and smelling the fire in the city centre, before fire engines rushed past.
10 fire engines and about 60 firefighters battled the fire, West Yorkshire Fire confirmed.
PC Rushton, of Wakefield's Neighborhood Policing Team, tweeted at 6.15pm: "Fire reported just off Westgate. Please avoid the area if possible."
Westgate was closed at the junction with Market Street to the junction with Mulberry Way while crews battled the fire.
The road had reopened by 8.50pm.