Firefighters praised after paper mill blaze

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Firefighters praised after paper mill blaze

Posted: 21/04/2008 14:25:31

More than 100 firefighters who tackled a major blaze at a Sittingbourne paper mill have been praised for limiting the spread of the fire.

Kent Fire and Rescue Service was called to Kemsley Mill at Ridham Avenue at 8.17pm last night after the fire broke out in a paper making machine. It sent 15 appliances and a height vehicle to the site where crews used breathing apparatus and jets to tackle the blaze which was affecting four floors.

The fire was contained by 11pm but a crew has spent the night at the site checking for hotspots. Steve Jeffries, KFRS’s Area Manager for North Division said: “We initially sent four pumps but within 10 minutes of that first call we sent another six and it was increased to 15 appliances soon after so the response was extremely fast.
“The crews worked really hard in very difficult conditions because it was a severe fire and very hot. They’ve managed to limit the damage to the machine itself and saved three-quarters of the roof. The rest of the building was smoke damaged.”

It’s believed the blaze started after a mechanical failure in the machine. The crews attending were: Two from Sittingbourne, two from Faversham, two from Maidstone, Strood, Chatham, Gillingham, Medway, Rainham, Teynham, Eastchurch, Queenborough and Lenham.

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