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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Five years on from Icepak fire

Five years ago the Icepak coolstores at Tamahere exploded, killing a fireman, injuring seven others and scarring a community. Philippa Stevenson, a Tamahere resident and journalist, reflects on the tragedy and asks whether it could happen again.

Tamahere Model Country School’s annual Pumpkin Night, held a week ago, was a delight.

As one Pumpkin Night follows another it feels like nothing changes.

But some things certainly need to change. Because Pumpkin Night five years ago ended before it began with a black mushroom cloud blasting and boiled into the sky, taking a life and changing the course of many others forever.

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Men’s health saved by whisker

Fifteen Hamilton firemen, including two involved in the Icepak Coolstores tragedy, are sacrificing their upper lips for the Movember mean’s health fundraiser.

Led by Adrian Brown and including Cameron Grylls, both injured at the 2008 Tamahere fire, the Red Watch Mo Bros are growing moustaches for the month to support the Movember Fundation, which raises funds and awareness for men’s health.

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Blast fines, compo found wanting

A judge today fined Mobile Refrigeration Specialists $56,000 and ordered the company to pay $175,000 to the victims of the April 5, 2008 Icepak Coolstores blast, the widow of fireman Derek Lovell and the seven other firemen injured in the tragedy.

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