Sprinklers halt blaze at DS Smith paper mill in Kemsley
The DS Smith paper mill
in Kemsley was hit by a major blaze
A fire detection system stopped a major blaze from ripping
through a paper mill last night, it has been revealed.
Water and foam sprinklers put out the flames after a fire broke
out on machine number four on the ground floor at DS Smith mill in
Kemsley, on the outskirts of Sittingbourne.
Staff were first alerted to there being a problem when a system
that detects flicker and movement on the equipment set off an
It was then that flames were spotted between the rollers.
As a result, the sprinkler systems above the machine were
activated in a bid to contain the fire before fire crews
Fire crews from Sittingbourne, Sheppey,
Eastchurch, Faversham, Teynham and Medway arrived at the scene just
Support appliances from Tunbridge Wells and Maidstone plus a
command support unit and a water unit were also called.
Crews found staff fighting the fire from either side using jets
and high pressure hoses.
Sittingbourne watch manager Neil Ryder said: "The staff were
doing a good job and the water and foam systems meant the fire was
contained to the machine.
"We took over from them but kept them to one side in case we
needed technical information.
"As the machine runs, it deposits materials which get flung off
and lay on support structures and build up and is it's a hot
process it’s believed there was some friction which was enough to
ignite the paper deposits.
"It's a very hot environment in the mill anyway, but with the
added heat of the fire and the uniforms the crew have to wear you
have to be aware of fatigue.
"The other crews were called in so we could rotate them. We
finally extinguished the fire just before 8.55pm.
"About five years ago we had a large fire on that machine, you
could see the flames through the roof, but the systems put in place
since then made this job a lot easier and stopped the fire from
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