Employees at a local handbag manufacturing plant were forced to evacuate Wednesday afternoon after a piece of machinery caught fire.

Firefighters responded to an alarm at the Brahmin Leather Factory on Alden Road, after a leather-splitting machine caught fire, forcing the evacuation of about 75 employees to a nearby parking lot.

Public Information Officer Wayne Oliveira says an employee put out the smoky fire and firefighters assisted in removing smoke from the building.

Workers were allowed back in shortly after 4pm. No one was injured.

Brahmin manufactures designer handbags and pocket books in Fairhaven.