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Fire at Georgia-Pacific mill

GREEN BAY, Wis. (From WBAY) - A forklift overheated and caught fire at the Georgia-Pacific paper mill early Friday morning.

The Green Bay Metro Fire Department was called to the mill on Broadway at about 2 a.m.

The fire broke out in a paper storage area, where bales of scrap paper and cardboard caught fire. Firefighters encountered thick smoke, and had zero visibility at times while battling the blaze.

"Because of the size of the facility, it creates a lot of smoke, a harsh environment for our firefighters," said Battalion Chief Dave Kolz, Green Bay Metro Fire Department. "We have to be very careful, where we're stepping, where we're going so no one gets hurt. And massive amounts of fans and equipment to get all that smoke out of there, opening doors."

As crews were battling this difficult fire, it was reported that a plant employee was missing.

"About ten to fifteen minutes into the call, plant personnel said they had a missing person. So we upgraded to a box level alarm for additional personnel. In about five to ten minutes, that person was accounted for by plant personnel unhurt, unharmed," said Chief Kolz.

There are no reports of injuries.

"Any time you get those big bundles of paper and paper rolls started on fire, it gets deep seeded and we gotta tear it apart and get water in there, and get that water in there to penetrate. So we use hoses with smooth nozzles to get in there and get that fire out," said Chief Kolz.

It took firefighters more than an hour to get the blaze under control. They were on scene for more than two hours conducting ventilation and overhaul.

The fire area was aired out with fans.

*****

Join Jim Thompson on the 2nd Annual Papermakers Mission Trip to Guatemala, 22 - 29 July 17. Build houses, talk about the pulp and paper industry. For more information, email jthompson@taii.com with "Guatemala" in the subject line.


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