NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. (WIVB) – Firefighters have a huge fire at a Niagara Falls paper factory under control after 24 hours of fighting the flames. The fire caused millions of dollars in damage to Norampac Industries, according to Niagara Falls Mayor Paul Dyster.
“Obviously this is a far cry from the scene we witnessed here yesterday afternoon and yesterday evening,” Dyster said Sunday as firefighters mopped up hot spots in the fire.
As the sun came up Sunday, firefighters’ work continued to keep the flames under control outside Greenpac Mill and Norampac Industries.
Greenpac Mill is a paper company that uses recycled paper and cardboard to make its products. The fire started Saturday afternoon as bales of paper and cardboard sitting outside ignited.
Mayor Dyster called it a “clean burn.” which is fortunate. “We’re pretty lucky here. Most of what’s burning is paper and cardboard. Burning in the open air. Because of high winds, getting a lot of oxygen. So it’s not like a junkyard fire where you have tires burning. Or a fire at a chemical company where you have toxic chemicals in the air,” Dyster said.
But the wind made things very difficult for firefighters.
“Wind was the biggest challenge. It spread the fire very rapidly,” said Niagara Falls Fire Battalion Chief Daniel Ciszek. “We tried to protect the buildings, but the fire was so intense, it got into some of the outlying buildings.”
Most of the structure damage affects Norampac Industry buildings. The Greenpac Mill’s main building were spared, and Dyster says that company should re-open in the next few days. Norampac suffered several millions of dollars worth of damage according to Dyster.
Several fire companies from Niagara County helped the Niagara Falls Fire Department bring the fire under control.
A couple of firefighters needed treatment for heat stroke and one took an ember to the face but no one was seriously hurt in this long-burning fire that was one of the biggest these firefighters had ever faced.