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Park Lane
Started by: priscus (7267) Report abuse
What year was the big Jefferson Smurfit fire?

I remember the strong thermal currents carried asbestos particles (from the exploding roofing sheets) high in the air, to 'rain' back onto the surrounding area.

Nobody seemed to care about suchlike back then. There was no special clean-up!

People were claiming it was an insurance scam, but that could have been folk just being nasty. Did they ever identify the true cause of the fire?

Friction between moving rolls of paper seems to ring a bell, but I could be thinking about one of the other paper/board manufacturers.

Posted by: PeterP (6938) Report abuse
Mid 1970's

Posted by: priscus (7267) Report abuse
No, I had left the area mid 1960's, so it was earlier than that.

(But there could also have been a subsequent fire in 1970's for all that I know)

I am guessing early 1960's, but could possibly have been late 1950's.

It was big: visible miles away!

Just struggling trying to link it to anything else, to identify the year.

Posted by: gaffer (6051)   Report abuse
Smurfits were up to capacity at the time of the fire. The stock of reels of kraft paper was much higher then normal causing the fire to burn for several days.
The standard of forensic science today, if available then, would probably have placed a different complexion on the cause.
Shortly before the fire I had an interview with the young Jefferson Smurfit who was looking for a production engineer to squeeze more from the machinery to meet customer demand.
After a brief walk round the factory I could see, although still wet between the ears, they were months away from needing much bigger premises.

Posted by: suesa (550) Report abuse
In 1970 when I worked in the offices at Tarmac next to Smurfits there was a big fire.

Posted by: baker boy (14339) Report abuse

Posted by: nutty tart (472)   Report abuse
The fire was after 1969 so suesa is probably right with 1970.

Posted by: PeterP (6938) Report abuse
At the time of the fire Smurfits were about to open their new plant near Bold Colliery


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