Fire destroys Hawkins Cheezie warehouse

Kingston, ON, Canada / CKWS TV
Fire destroys Hawkins Cheezie warehouse

Belleville Fire crews sift through what’s left of a Hawkins Cheezie warehouse.
Early Monday morning, Belleville Fire received a 911 call from a factory worker on the night shift in the main plant about the back warehouse on fire.

John Lake- Senior Fire Prevention Officer
“The first station that arrived came and the building was totally involved in fire at that time. The west half of the building had actually collapsed on itself. So they were here probably until 8 o’clock and as you can see the duty crew is still here assisting in the investigation.”

Stored inside the warehouse were hundreds of cardboard boxes for Cheezie packaging as well as company files. Paper and cardboard that added fuel to the fire causing it to burn very quickly.

Tony McGarbey – Finance Director, W.T.Hawkins Inc
“Everyone is just happy that no one was hurt, that the plant is fine and that we’re all still working and have jobs this morning.”

Jonna Semple:
“It took about 3 crews and nearly 6 hours to put out the flames. A back hoe was even called in by the Belleville Public Works Department to make sure all the cardboard stores inside was pulled apart and there was no hot spots left.”

John Lake – Senior Fire Prevention Officer
“We refer to it as a defensive fire, no one was going inside this fire. It was basically a surround and drown and protect the exposure. That’s really all we can do with these ones.”

Crews were on the scene investigating what caused the blaze, uncovering electrical wiring to determine if that could be the root cause of the fire.
As for Cheezie production, Hawkins employees say the fire won’t slow anything down when it comes to making the nation’s favourite snack. This is a busy time for the 100 employees, who are ramping up production to prepare for Halloween.

Tony McGarbey – Finance Director, W.T.Hawkins Inc
“We’re continuing to work today and it won’t affect production this week at all. Of course we will be calling in a favour with one of our suppliers to get us some cardboard a little quicker than we would normally need it.”
Damage is estimated at approximately $300,000.00.
-Jonna Semple, CKWS Newswatch-Belleville.


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