SPICY curry powder sparked a small fire at a factory in Leigh.
Welders had been working at AB World Foods, Kiriana House, in Kiribati Way, and sparks from the machinery reacted with curry powder and ignited a small fire at 6.30am on Monday.
The fire started in one of the food hoppers and had blown through a filter which prevented the blaze from spreading.
The flames destroyed the filter but did not cause much fire damage to the factory, but the building was heavily smoke logged.
Watch commander Steve Pattyson, of Leigh Fire Service, said: “Over the weekend someone was doing welding work and sparks must have flown onto the curry powder, which was left smouldering.
“This was blown into the filter and set fire.
“It was not such a big fire, but it will take an engineer quite a while to clean the machine out and dry it before they can get back into production.
“Luckily the filter, which had cardboard in it, stopped the fire from spreading.
“Otherwise it could have been worse as the food hoppers are filled with spices and are blown though a filter.
“If these had got through to the other side, it could have spread and could have caused serious damage.”
“Fire crews wore breathing apparatus because of the thick smoke which had reacted with the dry curry powder, but when we opened the doors it disappeared quite quickly.”
The fire service was alerted to the incident as the fire alarm went off.
AB World Foods manufactures a range of international food brands including Patak’s, Blue Dragon, Grey and Tabasco.
It has a northern office in Leigh and a southern office in Kent.