At our inception 20 years ago, we chose to be different. Unlike other news organizations, we made the decision to provide in-depth, regional reporting free to anyone who wanted access to it. We don’t plan to change that model. Support from our readers will help us maintain and strengthen the editorial independence that is crucial to our mission to help make Western North Carolina a better place to call home. If you are able, please support The Smoky Mountain News.

The Smoky Mountain News is a wholly private corporation. Reader contributions support the journalistic mission of SMN to remain independent. Your support of SMN does not constitute a charitable donation. If you have a question about contributing to SMN, please contact us.

Two contractors die in fire at Canton paper mill

Haywood County Emergency Services issued an alert at 6:15 a.m. Monday morning reporting a large commercial structure fire at Evergreen Packaging in Canton.

Statement from Wally McDonald, Mill Manager:

“At approximately 5:15 a.m. EST on September 21, 2020, a fire occurred in a tank at the Canton Mill. This tank was being repaired as part of a maintenance outage within the mill. The local fire department quickly responded to the scene and extinguished the fire. It is with great sadness that we confirm two contractors involved in the tank repairs died as a result of the fire. Their families have been notified and have our deepest sympathy and support during this very difficult time. An immediate investigation regarding the cause of the fire has begun The Canton mill is cooperating fully with the local police, fire department, and regulatory agencies. We appreciate the bravery and support of our local emergency response personnel. We will share updates and information as appropriate, but wish to respect the privacy and difficult circumstances for the families of the contractors who lost their lives.”

Go to top