Fire consumes paper factory in Samut Prakan
As firefighters managed to put out most of the huge fire at a paper factory in Samut Prakan and continued to contain smouldering piles of debris as of press time, provincial governor Chatchai Uthaipan told officials to start distributing face masks among residents affected by the smoke.
He also told officials to check for any other negative impacts.
The fire at Thai Development Industrial Paper Co Ltd factory in Tambon Thay Ban in Muang district started at 8pm on Wednesday. Chatchai quoted the factory owner as saying the damages might be worth at least Bt100 million, covering the stock of 10 million kilograms of paper, which is sold at Bt6 per kilo, machines and the building itself.
Staff said the fire began when a worker, who was fixing the metal roof, allowed sparks to fall on the rolls paper below.
Tambon Tai Ban Health Promotion Hospital acting director Salinda Khieopan said health volunteers were dispatched to check if any resident within a one-kilometre radius had developed respiratory or skin issues, while Samut Prakan Hospital has been told to be ready for patients.
So far, nobody has been found to be suffering from adverse health impacts from the fire, she said, adding that people have only complained about dust and ash falling on their homes.
Chatchai said that as of yesterday afternoon, 70 per cent of the fire was under control, though the area on the bank of Chao Phraya River was difficult to contain as winds keep fanning the flames.
As of press time, firefighters were trying to douse smouldering piles of paper and were hoping to put the fire out completely by the end of the day.
Initially, some 100 fire-engines were dispatched to the site, but they had to call for another 50 after the flames began spreading fast. By 4.30am yesterday the fire had swept through three warehouses at the factory.
Firefighter Kittipong Sakulsas, 30, said there were several layers of paper rolls and when they extinguished one layer, another layer was rekindled. Also the factory was too far from a source of water and fire-engines had to take turns fetching water.