Two brothers whose Grantham packaging factory was severely damaged by fire this morning have vowed to get the business back up and running after seeing “a lifetime’s work go up in flames”.
Martin and Colin Howitt have run their paper packaging firm, Grantham Manufacturing Ltd, since 1972 and moved to its present site in Ruston Road on the Alma Park Industrial Estate in 1980. It employs 18 people.
At about 4am today an alarm was set off by a fire which completely destroyed the firm’s warehouse and machinery, although the administration block looks to be largely intact.
Martin told the Journal: “I felt sick when I heard. When you see a lifetime’s work going up in flames that is how you feel. Some of my staff have worked here for more than 30 years.
“But we are already working out a contingency plan to continue the business and support our customers. I am quietly confident that we will be back in manufacturing soon.
“So many of our staff have worked a long time here and we feel very passionate about the place and we have worked so long here. But you recover from these things.”
Martin added: “The fire has been contained in half the factory. The office building looks to be intact. Once the fire got going it was going to be very difficult to put out. There were lots of rolls of paper in there. They are like logs of wood. Once they are alight they take some putting out.
“It was a while before the firefighters could get in and they wanted to know if there were any hazardous materials in there. But there are no hazardous chemicals.”