A FIRE at a cardboard box factory which could have burned for days was successfully extinguished within an hour.

Fire fighters rushed to the cardboard box manufacturers on the Charfleets Industrial Estate in Canvey to avert a major incident last night just before 8.30pm.

The blaze had taken hold on pallets in a container outside the industrial unit and risked spreading to the several hundred tonnes of paper stored inside.

Two crews from Canvey wore breathing apparatus and used main jets to extinguish the blaze by 9.20pm.The external facia of the unit was extensively damaged but the fire did not spread.

Divisional Officer Nigel Dilley said: "We would undoubtedly have been here all night, if not for days, had fire taken hold of the contents of the unit which was full of various paper products.

"The prompt response and professional action of Canvey crews prevented rapid spread which meant we were able to contain the fire externally."

The cause of the fire is undetermined.