Two firefighters were injured Saturday morning as they helped to extinguish a fire at the newly reopened Nine Dragons Paper mill in Old Town.

The fire originated in a lime kiln, which is used in making unbleached softwood pulp that is produced at the mill. Though the fire was contained to the kiln, it took a few hours and help from several neighboring fire departments to put it out.

“Mill fires are always a little complicated,” said Old Town Deputy Fire Chief Chris Baker.

The fire started shortly before 9 a.m., Baker said. Two firefighters from neighboring towns received minor injuries and were transported to a hospital for treatment and released.

On July 15, firefighters responded to a roof vent fire at the mill that caused little damage and no injuries, officials said.

ND Paper, an international company based in Hong Kong, purchased the mill last year after it closed in 2015 and put nearly 200 people out of work. The company has since invested $46 million in upgrades and hired 130 people from more than 1,000 applicants.

The mill reopened last month and produced its first bales of unbleached softwood pulp just after 4 a.m. on July 31, according to the company website. Company officials held a grand reopening celebration on Aug. 13 that was attended by U.S. Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King, and 2nd District U.S. Rep. Jared Golden.

Also in 2018, ND Paper purchased active pulp and paper mills in Rumford and Biron, Wisconsin, and it owns a mill in Fairmont, West Virginia, that is one of only three in the world producing air-dried, recycled pulp.

ND Paper and its subsidiaries employ more than 15,000 people at 13 mills worldwide, including eight in China and one in Vietnam. Each year it makes over 14 million metric tons of high-quality pulp, paper and paper-based packaging materials, billing itself as an environmentally friendly company and the largest producer of container board in Asia.

 


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