Company: Iconic Paper Mill Destroyed by Fire to Soon Reopen

ELMWOOD PARK, N.J. (AP) -
Marcal Paper Products factory before it was destroyed in a fire. (Jim.henderson))

An iconic paper plant in northern New Jersey that was destroyed in a massive fire earlier this year will soon reopen, according to a top company official.

Rob Baron, president and chief executive officer of Marcal Paper, told The Record that the plant in Elmwood Park will be “back in business” next month, though he did not provide a specific opening date.

The decision to resume operations was made after Marcal assessed the site and merged with Pennsylvania-based Nittany Paper, a deal that Baron said would facilitate Marcal’s conversion of paper into products ready for sale. The company lost 21 paper-converting lines during the Jan. 30 fire, making the merger the “only viable pathway” to restarting operations, Baron said.

Officials have said they can’t determine what caused the fire, which did not cause any injuries but put hundreds of people out of work. Baron did not provide an exact number of employees that the company aims to hire for the new plant, stating only that he will look to make incremental hires as he hopes to get the mill back to a 24-hour operation

The fire destroyed 30 of 36 buildings and Marcal’s iconic red sign.