A fire broke out Thursday night at Iceland Seafood UK's large factory complex in Grimsby.

Managing Director Glen Mathews told IntraFish that a fryer on one of the coating lines was to blame.

"Firstly, and most importantly, all of our employees were safely evacuated from the building with no reported injuries," he said, adding that Humberside Fire & Rescue attended and quickly extinguished the flames.

Mathews added that the company's customers have been informed and that the incident would have "minimal impact on our service," with the fire isolated and contained within a single fryer room.

In photos from the scene on local media, smoke can be seen billowing from the roof, but no flames can be seen from the outside.

There was at one point around five fire engines at the east side of the factory and three more to the front, according to a witness speaking to Grimsby Live.

Iceland Seafood UK has been losing money for some time, and it recently became clear that the operation will take longer and cost more than previously estimated to stabilize, according to parent company Iceland Seafood International (ISI), speaking when it revised its profit forecast down earlier this month.

"Challenges in the external environment continued to impact the business in the period, with the outbreak of omicron COVID-19 in the beginning of the year, which had disruptive impact on both operations and logistics and price increases of various input factors during the whole period," said ISI.

The group recently installed a new, but experienced, management team that is in the process of stabilizing the operation, and whose key tasks are to rectify sales prices and to grow the business with both current and new customers.

"Based on current outlook it is expected that operation will be loss making during the second half of 2022, but that breakeven level will be reached in the first half of 2023," said ISI.

The team put in place includes a former top executive at Hilton Seafood.

Glen Mathews, most recently production director at Hilton Seafood, took over as the new managing director of Iceland Seafood UK earlier this year.

Mathews has more than 30 years of experience in the seafood processing sector.

He was with Hilton Seafood -- formerly Icelandic Seachill -- for 20 years, managing three factories with more than 1,400 employees.

The integration of the Iceland-based company's UK operation has been more complex and costly than anticipated, the group said in announcing its third quarter earning in November last year.

ISI CEO Bjarni Armannsson said a "combination of ramping up a renovated factory, dealing with challenging logistics from southeast Asia and merging two factories in a period of COVID-19 issues and Brexit" all conspired against the division.