On Fire

Reports to inquest lift wraps

Sep 9th, 2011 | By

Reports provided to this week’s inquest into the death of firefighter Derek Lovell are comprehensive accounts of the events leading up to and on the day of the 2008 tragedy that are not widely known.

The Fire Service released its report in September 2008 but the more detailed Labour Department report into the explosion and fire more than three years ago has been under wraps until now. The reports are available on Tamahere Forum.



Refrig engineer pleads for regulation

Sep 8th, 2011 | By

An engineer has slammed the refrigeration industry for a lack of standards that he says allows virtually anyone to install a refrigeration system without any monitoring.

Brian Jackson, a professional engineer and member of the Institute of Refrigeration, Heating and Air Conditioning Engineers, gave evidence at the inquest into the death of senior firefighter Derek Lovell at Tamahere in 2008.



Icepak now wary of gas

Sep 7th, 2011 | By

An Icepak director told an inquest into the death of a firefighter it was unlikely the company would ever use hydrocarbon gas in the future.

Wayne Grattan made the comment during a coroner’s inquest into Hamilton Senior Station Officer Derek Lovell’s death at Tamahere in April 2008.



Inquest reveals coolstore failings

Sep 5th, 2011 | By

An inquest into an explosion at Icepak Tamahere that killed a senior firefighter and injured several of his colleagues has heard how the plant had ongoing problems – including a major gas leak – just months before the fatal blast.

The inquest into the death of senior firefighter Derek Lovell opened in Hamilton today more than three years after he died and has been widely reported.



Crisis fires up cheesemaker

Aug 29th, 2011 | By

Meyer Gouda, a small family-owned Dutch cheese business, lost $200,000 worth of stock in the 2008 Icepak fire at Tamahere.

Losing 46% of their annual production was a crisis for the family business but one it has overcome in style three years on.

Meanwhile, the inquest into the death of fireman Derek Lovell in the Icepak explosion is set to begin next Monday (September 5).



Neil decorated for bravery

Jul 1st, 2011 | By

Firefighter Merv Neil yesterday received a New Zealand Bravery Decoration from the Governor General for his actions during the explosion at Icepak Coolstores in 2008.

Following the explosion on April 5 three years ago, Neil, though burned over 73% of his body, was aware of developing danger for his Fire Service colleagues and Tamahere rescuers alike but quietly and professionally took charge of the situation and led people away from the danger area.

For his actions at Tamahere, Neil was yesterday awarded a New Zealand Bravery Decoration at Government House.



Lovell inquest to start Sept 5

May 12th, 2011 | By

The Hamilton Coroner’s inquest into the death of fireman Derek Lovell at Icepak Coolstores at Tamahere is scheduled for a week starting on Monday, September 5.

Its focus will be on avoiding deaths in similar circumstances in the future.

Senior Station Officer Lovell died and seven other officers were seriously injured when leaking gas ignited while they were investigating an automatic fire alarm at the coolstore on April 5, 2008.



Lovell inquest to begin

Apr 28th, 2011 | By

The Hamilton coroner will hold an inquest into the death of fireman Derek Lovell who died in the Icepak Coolstore explosion at Tamahere three years ago.

Senior Station Officer Lovell died and seven other officers were seriously injured when leaking gas ignited while they were investigating an automatic fire alarm at the coolstore on April 5, 2008.

Today, the coroner, Gordon Matenga, held a pre-inquest conference to hear from interested parties who wish to give evidence at the inquest.



Bravery award for fireman Neil

Apr 2nd, 2011 | By

Firefighter Merv Neil, severely injured in the fiery explosion at the Tamahere Icepak Coolstore, in 2008, is one of 31 people honoured with a New Zealand Bravery Award today.

His sight blurred by a 2000 km/h blast wave, his hair burned off and clumps of his smouldering skin hanging from his fingers, firefighter Merv Neil was a burned and bloodied mess.

But despite the burns to 71 per cent of his body, he carried on, thinking his mates were in a worse state.



Coroner plans for fireman’s inquest

Mar 25th, 2011 | By

A coroner’s inquiry into the death of firefighter Derek Lovell is to get underway next month – just days after the third anniversary of his death following the Icepak Coolstores explosion on April 5, 2008.

Coroner Gordon Matenga has convened a pre-inquest conference on April 28 at the Hamilton District Court to determine the inquest’s likely length.

The aim of the conference is to determine whether people who have registered an interest in Derek Lovell’s death with the coroner wish to give evidence at the inquest, including by witnesses.