Before grabbing extinguishers to battle a fire at a paper mill Saturday morning in Trostberg, Germany, employees had just enough time to type the keywords “commercial and industrial fire” in a message to the mill’s control center nearly 20 kilometers away in Traunstein.
The alert issued from Traunstein not only alerted Trostberg responders but 175 firefighters from ten fire brigades across a wide area of Bavaria, the Traunstein District Fire Brigade Association website states.
Six paper mill workers were taken to local clinics with slight injuries.
At about 6:45 a.m. workers discovered an overheated machine for making cardboard burning in a production hall at the mill. Within minutes of alerting central control in Traunstein, the Trostberg fire brigade arrived on scene, quickly followed by fellow firefighters from Altenmarkt, Palling and Traunreut.
Quickly gaining control of the machine fire, responders discovered that sparks had spread small smoldering fires throughout the building’s ventilation system. Volunteer brigades from Heiligkreuz, Lindach, Oberfeldkirchen, Kienberg and Emertsham joined with the mill’s own fire brigade to respond to the new threat.
Heavy smoke in the production hall forced firefighters to wear breathing apparatus as they positioned themselves to protect the rest of the paper mill. Aerial ladders were also brought to bear against the fire.
Complete extinguishment took 90 minutes owing to concern about flames rekinding. The production hall was thoroughly ventilated using a large-capacity fan employed by the paper mill brigade.
Responders on scene also included doctors and rescue workers with the Bavarian Red Cross and police. Trostberg police are leading the investigation into the cause of the fire.
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