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Wednesday, 03 June 2015

Paper mill blaze drama

WORKERS were evacuated from a Barrow factory when a blaze broke out.

Firefighters were called to tackle the fire at the Kimberly-Clark paper mill in Park Road, Barrow, in the early hours of yesterday morning. 

Three crews from Barrow and Walney attended and took three hours to put out the fire.

Fire chiefs said the blaze may have started when a spark ignited dust next to a machine.

The piece of machinery, which is around 20 metres by six metres in size and cuts large rolls into smaller toilet rolls, is expected to be out of action for two or three days.

The entire site was evacuated when the blaze was discovered but some workers were allowed to return to parts of the plant while firefighters tackled the fire.

There were 65 workers on site at the time and around 25 in the mill where the fire started.

Roger Exley, station manager at Barrow fire station, said: “We don’t know the exact cause of the fire but it was a substantial fire and it posed a significant risk both to the workers and the firefighters.

“With this machinery, they often have a build-up of dust at the base of the machine and every so often there will be a spark which ignites it.

“The machine itself is a massive piece of kit, so putting out the fire was quite complex; it’s inside and so there were difficulties in terms of access and lighting but the fire crew from Kimberly-Clark had worked to keep it under control until we got there.”

Firefighters were called at 4.04am. The fire took three hours to extinguish.

A total of 16 firefighters attended the site and used two hose reels and six breathing apparatus.

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