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Fire at Huhtamaki facility in Maine contained

WATERVILLE, Maine (From news reports) -- A fire at the Huhtamaki paper product facility was extinguished quickly around 11:30 Wednesday morning.

Waterville Fire Chief Shawn Esler said smoke and flames originated from a machine a person had been working on at the time.

"There's nothing suspicious," he said. "We believe the cause of the fire was accidental."

Esler said that there were no injuries. He was unable to provide information about any damage done to the facility.

"A fire in the mill is not uncommon because of the processes they use to make paper products," Esler said. "They're not frequent, but they're not uncommon."

He added that these fires can be concerning "because of the sheer size of the mill and the amount of employees that Huhtamaki employs."

"We want to see Huhtamaki in business," Esler said.

Esler noted that Huhtamaki has a fire prevention program that equips it to handle minor situations itself but that area departments assist if a situation gets beyond the company's control. The Waterville, Fairfield and Winslow fire departments went to the scene on Wednesday.

"This is a perfect example of a regional cooperative effort to handle emergencies in large facilities," Esler said.

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