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Fire-hit firm back to full production

Thursday, 14th June 2001.

A HAVERHILL company which was hit by a serious fire at the beginning of the month is now back in full production again.

Futon Design of Hamlet Park, Haverhill, suffered a fire at one of its storage warehouses on June 1 which caused around 500,000 damage. Production had re-started within three days, was up to 50 per cent in a week and is now around 98 per cent.

Partner Richard van Ewyk paid tribute to his dedicated team of 55 staff, who had worked tirelessly to keep production going and make sure orders went out on time.

He said: "We are very pleased and it has been entirely due to the staff pulling together and working extremely hard.

"Last week they were cleaning buildings, moving stock around, replacing manufacturing equipment and setting up new units.

"We have been very well supported locally and nationally, by our staff, customers and local companies who have done work for us. We work mainly for mail order clients and it is very important to get our orders out on time or we could lose customers."

Futon Design produces around 1,000 futon sofa beds a week and Mr van Ewyk said that, since he formed the company with partner Robert Dennes in 1993, it had grown by one third each year.

The company had to move to its Haverhill site a year ago because it had extra capacity for expansion and he hoped they would take on 15 to 20 more staff in the next year.

The cause of the blaze is still being investigated, with a number of theories possible, but an earlier suspicion that it was an electrical fault has now been discounted.

Mr van Ewyk said the heat of the blaze had been so intense that it was possible the cause might never be found.

CAPTION: Staff pulling together ... Robert Dennes, financial director, left, and Robert van Ewyk, production director, with some of the workforce.

Haverhill Weekly News

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