Fire crews were called out to Tamko Asphalt in the Lonsdale community Sunday morning after flames sparked in the industrial size chimney.
Knoxville Fire Department Captain DJ Corcoran said about ten workers were inside of the business when the fire started around 11:25 a.m. on the 2500 block of Johnston Street, but everyone got out safely.
The business makes an asphalt roofing paper from recycled cardboard that is coated with a tar like substance.
Crews said the burning material was a byproduct of caked-up paper dust combined with grease and grime.
Crews on the scene said they were able to put out the fire within 45 minutes.