Fire site now ‘ghetto spot’


Click, click, whirr, scrape, slide, chat and laughter – they’re some of the sounds commonly emanating from the abandoned Icepak Coolstores site on Devine Rd these days.

The concrete slabs left behind after the coolstores were removed by fire or the dismantlers were long ago colonised by enterprising skaterboarders.

The unofficial skateboard park or “ghetto spot” is a magnet for skaters from pre-teen learners to the very skilled and experienced, who occasionally showcase their thrills and spills in YouTube videos like this one.

The skater’s low key video is a a far cry from the wall to wall media coverage of the fire that exploded into life seven years ago today, bringing death and tragedy to Tamahere.

The blast took the life of firefighter Derek Lovell, 49, and injured seven of his workmates. They are remembered in Tamahere in the hearts of locals who fought to save them and in several memorials, the most prominent by the Tamahere Community Centre.

The wasteland of the Icepak site, though, continues to be the biggest mark on the landscape of the events that occurred seven years ago on April 5, 2008.

The skaters have been the first to bring life back to Tamahere’s ground zero. Let’s hope much more rehabilitation of the area occurs before another seven years has past.

Earlier stories: Five years on from Icepak fire (2013)

The On Fire story category

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