Day marks firefighters’ sacrifice

Today, International Firefighters’ Day, some turn their thoughts to the late senior station officer Derek Lovell.

Manawatū Fire and Emergency area commander Mitchell Brown told Stuff that each year on the day his thoughts are dominated by Lovell, who died from injuries in a blast at Tamahere 12 years ago.

“It was pretty surreal,” said Brown,

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Tamahere legacy lives on

Today is a day Tamahere can reflect on other tough times – the 12th anniversary of the Icepak fire that claimed the life of firefighter Derek Lovell.

The lives of seven other firefighters were changed forever, too, in central Tamahere on a sunny April 5 much like today. Seriously injured were Merv Neil, Alvan Walker, Brian Halford, Cameron Grylls, David Beanland, Adrian Brown and Dennis Wells.

That day, also, brave and selfless locals went to the aid of the seriously injured firefighters.

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Tamihana, a NZ great

Tamahere’s preeminent historical figure, Ngati Haua rangatira Wiremu Tamihana, has again been hailed as one of New Zealand’s greatest figures.

Yesterday, to mark the reprinting of the seminal, 2002 biography by Dame Evelyn Stokes, Wiremu Tamihana Rangatira, historian Vincent O’Malley gave a public lecture at Waikato University.

To a large audience that included many Ngati Haua, O’Malley said the evidence Tamihana was one of the most outstanding people in NZ history was overwhelming.

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Matangi’s historic Armistice Day

Armistice Day, November 11, will be a particularly historic day in Matangi this year.

For more than a hundred years, locals have called for a Roll of Honour for those from the Matangi district who served in the armed forces during World War 1. One hundred and four years later, that day has finally arrived.

At 11am on Sunday November 11, the Roll of Honour will be placed in the Matangi Hall, 480 Tauwhare Rd.

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Principal reflects on fire

Today, like April 5, 2008, was a stunningly beautiful, warm, Waikato day with blue sky overhead and crunchy, autumn leaves underfoot.

Then the neighbourhood blew up, transformed in nanoseconds into a frightening, confusing nightmare of noise, chaos, roaring flames and a huge, black mushroom cloud funnelling high into the sky.

Ten years on, Tamahere School principal Waveney Parker has recalled the school community’s many courageous roles that afternoon, and in the weeks ahead.

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Suffering and superheroes: fire anniversary

The 10th anniversary of the fatal Icepak Tamahere fire has prompted another publication to look back a decade to April 5, 2008.

Raewyn Koppens describes the day she thought she’d died as an experience coloured with suffering and superheroes, reports the Waikato Times.

The light of a warm Saturday afternoon turned to darkness, and through a smokey haze, figures began to appear.

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Icepak fire 10 years on

As the 10th anniversary of the fatal Icepak Tamahere fire draws near news publications are looking back on the April 5, 2008 event.

In a feature story, the NZ Herald has checked on the surviving firefighters to find their memories of the day and where they are now.

Merv Neil says the blast felt like a big kick up the backside. As he struggled to his feet he was engulfed in an orange ball of flame. Shielding himself, he briefly looked up to see an enormous cloud of smoke in the sky.

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Appeal over Icepak site

An appeal has been lodged on the decision to decline a precedent-setting residential subdivision on the the former Icepak Coolstores site.

The site owner, former Icepak director Wayne Grattan, is appealing the resource consent decision by an independent commissioner on grounds including that undue weight was put on the precedent-setting nature of the subdivision.

Waikato District Council Hearing Commissioner David Hill said in January that the application to subdivide the 2.1ha Devine Rd block into six lots could not be justified.

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Icepak subdivision declined

A bid to subdivide the former Icepak Coolstores site into a precedent setting number of residential blocks has been declined.

In a decision released yesterday, Waikato District Council Hearing Commissioner David Hill said the application to subdivide the 2.1ha block into six lots, all less than the 5,000 square metres provided in the district plan, could not be justified.

The application, which came almost 10 years after the Devine Rd site was razed by an explosion and fire that killed a fireman, was made by former Icepak managing director Wayne Grattan.

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