Fire damages New Milford’s Kimberly-Clark plant
NEW MILFORD — One worker was sent to the hospital Sunday night when a lotion coating machine caught fire at the Kimberly-Clark plant.
Six fire companies responded to the blaze, which broke out in the printing assets area of the Pickett District Road facility about 9 p.m. Sunday.
“There was great coordination,” Kimberly-Clark plant manager Gary Wright said. “They made sure the fire was out and the area was well ventilated. Nobody was injured, but one employee was taken to the hospital to make sure he was all right given the amount of smoke.”
Wright said the plant has a full crew working at night, but only a handful of employees were in the printing assets area. The New Milford plant employees 350 workers.
“We have an exceptional safety record,” Wright said. “The best part of [Sunday] night was that nobody was hurt and we’re just left having to clean up the water.”
New Milford Fire Marshal Brien Ohmen said all three town fire departments responded as well as companies from Brookfield, Roxbury and Danbury.
Ohmen said the cause of the fire remains under investigation.
The New Milford plant underwent a $28 million expansion in 2014, expanding its production capability to package its tissue cartons into multi-packs, which are in high demand from big-box and warehouse stores. Kimberly-Clark has a 50 percent market share in the facial tissue category with Kleenex. The New Milford facility produces 40 percent of Kleenex tissues used in North America.