Landmark of tragedy to go


The remaining Icepak coolstore, the only survivor of the devastating 2008 fire, is being prepared for removal.

The last Icepak Tamahere coolstore being cleaned before removal
The last Icepak Tamahere coolstore being cleaned before removal

This week, contractors were on the Devine Rd site washing down the coolstore, which in recent months has been covered in graffiti, before an expected shift to Waharoa.

The coolstore has not been in use since June 2010 after a deal struck between Icepak and the Waikato District Council allowed it to continue to operate for a period following the fatal fire in return for Icepak relinquishing claims to commercial use of the site.

A contractor on the site told Tamahere Forum this week that the coolstore would be moved to Icepak’s Waharoa site and the extensive concrete pads – previously floors for the coolstores that covered the area – would be ground to rubble.

The land is now zoned rural living and the contractor said he expected that once it was cleared it would be offered for sale as residential lots.

More than five years after the April 5, 2008 explosion and fire that killed firefighter Derek Lovell and injured seven colleagues most people in Tamahere are likely to be pleased to see the back of the landmark to tragedy. The few exceptions will be the local skateboarders who have used the concrete area sheltered by the coolstore’s canopy as an all-weather skateboard park.

The clearing of the site, however, will not leave the far reaching events of the day unmarked. The memorial to the community’s and firemen’s courage is outside the community centre, a seat at the school carries a plaque for the firemen and the children’s day care centre has its carved fireman.

Earlier story: Five year’s on from Icepak fire

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