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Fire Put Out At Kinleith

A fire that started this morning at 3 am at the Carter Holt Harvey pulp and paper mill at Kinleith has been put out, Kinleith Chief Executive Brice Landman has confirmed.

"No one was injured in the fire. Shift workers and our on-site Kinleith Industrial Fire Service responded immediately and got the initial blaze under control in 15 minutes," he said.

However, the fire spread through the ceiling to the roof and insulation of the 140m long building and it took several hours to extinguish the fires in the roof area.

The mill's fire fighters were quickly backed up by New Zealand Fire Service crews from Rotorua, Taupo, Mangakino and Tokoroa.

"Fire crews are at the site on standby looking for hot spots, and to ensure the area is safe," Mr Landman said.

The fire was first seen by a senior operator in the Number 6 paper machine building who raised the alarm after seeing flames coming from a press section, where paper is pressed before being dried.

Some of the building is not safe to enter yet, and therefore it is difficult to determine the cost implications.

"Temporary repair work has already commenced and our preliminary estimate is that the paper machine will be out of operation for only a few days while the damage is assessed and the machine repaired. Our first priority is to work with our paper customers to try and minimise any disruption."

Pulp production has not been affected and will continue as normal.

ENDS


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