Mill manager Wally McDonald said two contractors who were working on tank repairs have died. In a statement, he said that the tank was being repaired as part of a maintenance outage.
According to an emergency medical services official, the fire was brought under control at 8 a.m.
The company web site said operations began at the Canton Mill in 1908 and now employs about 1,000 people. It also stated that the mill is the largest industrial employer in Haywood County.