An employee notice was distributed by a packaging company's management team to address issues with "smouldering" paper trays prior to a major fire destroying the building, a court has heard.
A copy of the notice was presented to the court yesterday morning during defence counsel Magnus Macfarlane's cross examination of a former employee at the Hawk Packaging hearing at Hastings District Court.
The hearing began on Tuesday, in which Hawk Packaging and its director Tim Combs are defending charges relating to a January 17 fire last year at their Tomoana Rd premises. The blaze damaged the neighbouring ENZA Food premises which brought about legal action to try recover insurance costs.
The blaze required fire crews to assist from Dannevirke and Palmerston North, the evacuation of nearby residents and was described as one of the largest ever fought in Hawke's Bay.
Mr Combs faces two charges of breaching the Health and Safety in Employment Act and two other charges have been laid against Hawk Packaging. "The evidence for the defendants will be that that notice was put up on the notice board that we talked about yesterday but [also] two other notice boards," Mr Macfarlane told the court.
The witness, who Mr Macfarlane revealed to now be employed by the informant ENZA Foods, was also questioned about the nearby hose he used when the fire broke out in the paper room last year. On Tuesday he said it did not reach the fire. Mr Macfarlane said later testing showed it to have "more than enough pressure to not only have reached the fire, but to have had water go up the wall at the back of the paper room - not only reaching where you say the fire was in the reject pile, but way past it".
The prosecution case continued yesterday afternoon with an independent fire equipment serviceman taking the stand.
Barry Tunbridge had provided fire inspection services to Hawk Packaging. When questioned by co-prosecutor Simon Waalkens, he confirmed some fire fighting equipment had been damaged in a fire in October 2011. That fire was the second in a series of three.