Rand-Whitney fire causes minimal damage, no injuries despite cold

FILE - The main paper making machine of the two-ply Liner Board paper plant operated by Rand Whitney Containerboard in Montville Friday, Oct. 14, 2005. A Monday, March 13, 2017, fire at Rand-Whitney Containerboard caused minimal damage and no injuries despite extreme cold. (Sean D. Elliot/photo)

Montville — An overnight fire at Rand-Whitney Containerboard caused minimal damage and no injuries despite extreme cold, according to Fire Marshal Ray Occhialini.

Occhialini said firefighters were called to the 370 Route 163 company about 1 a.m. after a machine that rolls and cuts the company’s cardboard liner paper malfunctioned, causing the paper to tangle and catch fire.

Occhialini said sprinklers in the building, which he described as the complex’s newer, paper machine building, held the fire “in check” until crews arrived to put it out completely.

He estimated firefighters spent about two hours working inside the building and then another hour or so cleaning up ice-laden equipment and spreading ice melt around the area.

"It was a cold night," Occhialini said.

No firefighters or employees were injured.

Rand-Whitney already has arranged for a company to replace sprinkler heads and has begun replacing electrical components damaged by flames or water, Occhialini said.

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