A DEFECT in printing machinery caused a fire to break out at a St Neots factory.

Workers at St Neots Packaging, at Howard Road Industrial Estate, used 14 fire extinguishers to quell the blaze but had to call fire fighters at 10.55pm last night (Wednesday, September 5) to finish the job.

"The building was heavily smokelogged," a spokeswoman for Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue said.

"Two casualties suffered smoke inhalation and were dealt with by the ambulance service at the scene."

Just two minutes after arriving, crews from St Neots called for further assistance from fire fighters and Gamlingay and Papworth to deal with the fire at Unit Seven of the industrial estate.

They cut away and isolated the affected machinery to bring the incident under control by 12.31am this morning (Thursday, September 6).

Fire fighters left the scene at 2.19am and were due to return this morning to carry out further checks but have handed control of the building back to the packaging company.

Andy Ducker, chairman of St Neots Packagaing, said that although the machinery was damaged the building itself is fine and the business is operating as normal.

"Thankfully everyone is okay and we are now managing the practical implications of the fire," he said.

"The staff on site working the night shift dealt with the matter very efficiently and the fire brigade then attended to finish off the job. No one wa shurt, which is the main thing."

St Neots Packaging creates, develops and manufactures packaging for the fast food and retail markets.