Kimberly-Clark fire minor damages Sunday
A fire Sunday night in a lotion coating machine at Kimberly-Clark in New Milford was quickly extinguished but six fire companies responded to the scene for heavy smoke in the printing assets area of the plant.
Kimberly-Clark plant manager Gary Wright said they are still assessing the damage from sprinklers releasing water and the smoke.
“We had six fire units respond,” Wright said Monday morning. “There was great coordination. 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 alright given the amount of smoke.”
Wright said the plant has a full crew on nights, 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 added. “The best part of last 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 New Milford fire departments responded as well as Brookfield and Roxbury with a volunteer company from Danbury responding for ventilation.
“The other fire marshal and I cleared about 4:30 this morning,” Ohmen said. “The call came in about 9 p.m. Sunday. I’m not sure what time the firefighter’s cleared. We went through the incident with K-C’s engineers but we’re leaving the cause of the fire undetermined until we pinpoint what the exact cause was.”
The New Milford plant underwent a $28 million expansion in 2014, expanding its production capability for to package its tissue cartons into multipacks which are in 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.