Marcal Paper Mill, a northern New Jersey institution for 80 years, will restart operations in January, nearly a year after the mill was decimated by a massive fire, reports

The paper mill will be "back in business" in January, one year after 500 people lost their jobs due to the fire, said Rob Baron, president and chief executive officer of Marcal Paper. The decision was made after assessing the site and merging with a Pennsylvania-based paper company.

The paper mill served as an icon of Elmwood Park for decades, employing several residents of the town, before a mammoth fire burned 16 acres of property in January.

He said Marcal completed a merger with Nittany Paper in Pennsylvania, to facilitate the company's conversion of paper into products ready for sale. Marcal lost 21 paper-converting lines during the fire, making the merger the "only viable pathway" to restarting operations, he said.