September 22, 2019
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Fire breaks out at reopened Old Town mill

Gabor Degre | BDN
Gabor Degre | BDN
The Old Town mill is seen in this file photo.

A fire broke out in an “unused area” at the newly reopened Old Town mill on Saturday, according to a company official.

Brian Boland, vice president of government affairs and corporate initiatives for ND Paper, the mill’s owner, said Saturday evening that an employee earlier that day discovered a fire had ignited in an “unused area” of a mill building when investigating “unusual noises” coming from that area.

The employee reported the fire to mill security, who called the fire department about 9:15 a.m., Boland said.

First responders were at the scene within minutes and remained at the mill campus until just before 11:30 a.m., he said.

Boland said that two firefighters were injured and taken to Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor, where they were treated for minor injuries and released. He had no further details on their conditions. No other injuries were reported.

“The mill sustained damage to only insulation material in the unused area of the mill building. No operating equipment, including the lime kiln, was damaged in the fire. Additionally, the mill suffered no structural damage,” Boland said.

Boland said ND Paper will conduct a “thorough” investigation and that the mill will be taken out of service for 36 to 48 hours for inspection and cleanup.

ND Paper, a Chinese company, purchased the Old Town mill last fall. Earlier this month, the mill began producing pulp again, and on Aug. 14, hundreds of workers and executives gathered at the Old Town pulp mill to formally recognize the site’s reopening.

The Old Town mill has had a tumultuous history over the past 35 years, changing hands seven times, including four times since 2006.

The Saturday morning fire is the second blaze to break out at the mill’s campus this summer. On July 15, Old Town firefighters quickly put out a roof fire on a boiler building at the mill. No equipment was damaged in the fire, but a portion of the roof needed to be replaced after the fire.

 



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