Big fire an­other blow to long time com­pany

Upper Hutt Leader - - FRONT PAGE - COLIN WIL­LIAMS

The loss through fire of a stand­alone Acma In­dus­tries build­ing on Fri­day evening has rocked com­pany owner John Bow­mar.

The Mont­gomery Cr fire came just weeks af­ter the sud­den pass­ing of Alan Bow­mar, John’s fa­ther and the man who set up the com­pany al­most 40 years ago.

One of Bow­mar Snr’s last projects had been set­ting up a car­pet un­der­lay sec­tion three years ago.

It was this sin­gle story, 1500 square me­tre build­ing be­hind Acma’s other leased prop­er­ties, that was razed. The build­ing con­tained car­pet un­der­lay made with polyurethane foam.

This made huge plumes of smoke which were vis­i­ble across much of Up­per Hutt.

The com­pany’s 40 em­ploy­ees were shocked by the in­ci­dent but were try­ing to work as nor­mal, John Bow­mar said on Mon­day.

‘‘The main mould­ing fac­tory is run­ning as usual but ev­ery­one is a bit up­set.’’

Bow­mar ar­rived at the fac­tory 20 min­utes af­ter the fire was re­ported to emer­gency ser­vices by a passer-by.

He praised the work of fire­fight­ers who were able to con­tain the blaze to the one build­ing. ’’They did an ex­cel­lent job,’’ he said.

The cause of the fire re­mains to be iden­ti­fied.

The com­pany was fully insured with plant, stock and busi­ness in­ter­rup­tion in­sur­ance, Bow­mar said.

Up­per Hutt mayor Wayne Guppy said the coun­cil would help Acma in any way it could in its re­cov­ery.

‘‘It is a fam­ily busi­ness. They’re great peo­ple who have been suc­cess­ful through hard work,’’ Guppy said.

When Alan Bow­mar founded Acma in 1978, it was to pro­duce foam seat­ing and head rests for the automotive in­dus­try. Its ma­jor cus­tomer was Gen­eral Mo­tors at Tren­tham.

It pro­duces a range of low and high den­sity foam which is moulded into var­i­ous prod­ucts and ex­ported to a range of coun­tries.

In 2015 Acma In­dus­tries was in­ducted into the Welling­ton Re­gion Busi­ness Hall of Fame.

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