Europe’s biggest producer of packaged paper, Smurfit Kappa, suffered colossal damage as fire ripped through its key central England plant in Nechells, Birmingham.
The fire, which broke out on Sunday, set light to an estimated 8,000 tonnes of cardboard and resulted in scores of fire appliances being called to the scene.
Nechells is one of two paper mills that the Irish company operates in England and it boasts a global presence with bases in nearly 40 countries.
While the fire was brought under control and some activity renewed the next day, the plant is responsible normally for handling around 600 tonnes of paper daily, which is then recycled into boxes.
In a statement, West Midlands Fire Services said on-site fire safety procedures helped early attempts to combat the fire. WMFS confirmed it had worked with staff to allow Smurfit Kappa to resume some operations.
Said the statement: “Our fire investigators will today be working to try to establish how the fire started.
“Firefighters have faced challenging conditions at the site, including the amount of smoke created. Staff in our fire control were pivotal in coordinating our response and resources.
“Part of our firefighting plan included use of our specialist high volume water pumping unit. At one stage this was pumping and relaying 8000 litres of water per minute from a nearby canal.”
An investigation has begun in order to pinpoint the causes of the fire, added WMFS.