Nova Scotia

Hantsport plant 'very fortunate' after fire extinguished

Operations at CKF, a paper product plant in Hantsport, N.S., are safe to resume following an early-morning fire that damaged several machines, says the Hantsport Fire Department.

Some machinery was damaged but no one was hurt in fire at CKF

About 50 firefighters responded after CKF employees reported fire around 5:50 a.m. (Submitted by Hantsport Fire Department)

Operations at CKF, a paper product plant in Hantsport, N.S., are safe to resume following an early-morning fire that damaged several machines and spread to the roof, says the Hantsport Fire Department. 

Fire crews found machinery in flames when they were called to the three-storey building shortly before 6 a.m., said Paul Maynard, deputy chief of Hantsport Fire Department. 

About 50 firefighters from Hantsport and nearby communities including Windsor, Brooklyn and Wolfville responded. 

"The fire was fairly quickly knocked down by our firefighters. Our first-in crews. The majority of it was just following up," Maynard said.

"The fireload is extremely heavy and it's an older, industrial building. Certainly had the potential to be a lot worse. Fortunately we did contain it to the machinery that was involved and a little bit into the ceiling. Other than that it didn't go any further. Very fortunate this morning." 

The manufacturing facility, which operates around the clock, was evacuated and no one was hurt. 

RCMP Cpl. Andrew Joyce said officers determined the cause of the fire was not suspicious. 

CKF employees initially tried to put it out with fire extinguishers, said Maynard. When they couldn't contain it they called for help. 

"They're very well trained in safety and safety and fire operations. They made a quick assessment and notified 911 as soon as they realized it was getting a bit out of hand," said Maynard, adding some of the machinery suffered a fair bit of damage.

Some machines in the three-storey building were damaged but crews were able to quickly contain the fire. (Submitted by the Hantsport Fire Department)

CKF produces food packaging including paper plates and egg cartons. It was founded in the community in 1933.

"This is a major employer in the region and definitely we take any calls down there very serious. Without that employer in town, we'd be in a heck of a mess," said Maynard. 

Fire crews had cleared the site by 9 a.m.

With files from Blair Sanderson