Firefighters use heavy equipment to break through the walls of a burning warehouse Thursday. - Screencapture Via Formosa TV News

Firefighters use heavy equipment to break through the walls of a burning warehouse Thursday.

Screencapture Via Formosa TV News

Possibly aggravating the panic buying since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, fire broke out in a warehouse at a toilet paper factory Thursday in Changhua City, Taiwan, threatening more than 400 tons of raw product.

The paper factory’s owner told Formosa TV News that he was busy shipping product to meet the increased demand when the fire disrupted his day’s work.

Fifty firefighters and half as many fire trucks were dispatched to Sanyang Sanitary Paper when the fire broke out, local media report. A handy backhoe was used to quickly open the warehouse walls and break up the massive rolls of paper burning inside.

The fire was extinguished within 30 minutes. Only two workers complained of headaches from smoke inhalation. However, a towering plume of smoke rising above the city skyline guaranteed an excess of media attention.  

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