More than 50 firefighters battle blaze in giant papermaking line at Amcor

About 55 firefighters rushed to the site in Fairfield, Melbourne after a fire broke out at 6.28pm on Sunday, according to the Metropolitan Fire and Emergency Services Board. No one was injured in the blaze.

Commander Frank Besanko told ProPrint that the damage bill looked certain to exceed $100,000.

An Amcor spokesperson talked down the incident. “There is no damage to the paper machine and only minimal damage to the building which will be repaired today. The paper machine is expected to recommence production today.”

The fire took about 90 minutes to get under control and was extinguished within five hours, said Besanko.

[Related: Fire rips through Visy mill]

Firefighters had to pump out a lot of smoke before they could enter the five-storey recycling plant, he said. They then made a “two-pronged attack on the fire” – one crew dealt with several fires on the machine as another tackled a blaze in the roof above.

Besanko said the suspected cause of the fire was a collapsed bearing or a spark from the oven processor. It is believed to have started within the heat processing unit.

An Amcor on-site team and a 115-head sprinkler system helped contain the fire, according to the fire brigade.

Besanko said it was unusual for so many firefighters to be deployed to one incident.

“It was a pretty large tactical operation… [The machine] is huge – you can actually walk inside the machine it’s that big.” he said.

[Related: More news about disasters]

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