Chief executive Paul Hulley said disruption had been minimal at the Bungay book printer.
“A bearing overheated on a folder in the web room. The machine crew put the flames out very quickly – well before the brigade arrived, but it caused quite a bit of smoke so the evacuation lasted a couple of hours,” he explained.
“It was a very small fire and the machine concerned was back in production by last night. So no impact at all.”
Suffolk Fire & Rescue Service sent two appliances to the scene, one from Bungay and one from Beccles.
Clays is the UK’s biggest single-site book printer, typically producing around 150m books a year. The firm had sales of £76.5m last year and employs around 700 staff running a large range of conventional and digital printing equipment.
The business was acquired from St Ives by Italian firm Elcograf, part of the Pozzoni Group, in a £23.8m deal in May.
The book trade is gearing up for ‘Super Thursday’ this week, when hundreds of new titles will be published in anticipation of the Christmas sales boost.