Port Elizabeth - A worker was injured in a fire at the Umzamo Nonwovens manufacturing factory in Port Elizabeth on Wednesday, Nelson Mandela Bay municipality officials said.

He sustained slight burns, spokesman Mphubanzi Mniki said.

Twenty-three firefighters and nine fire engines responded to the scene in North End.

Mniki said it took about three hours to extinguish the flames with foam and water, as flammable and hazardous liquids were used at the factory.

“Their quick reaction and readiness enabled them to save half of the warehouse,” he said.

Fire and emergency services senior divisional head Ben Coetzee said a preliminary investigation indicated the fire could have been caused by heating rollers on the conveyers in the machines.

“If we had arrived a few minutes later, the fire could have easily spread to neighbouring factories, which also had highly flammable materials inside,” he said.