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Firefighter loses life in cool store incident

NZ Fire Service: Firefighter loses life in cool store incident

It is with profound regret the New Zealand Fire Service advises that Senior Station Officer Derek Lovell has died from injuries sustained in an explosion and fire at a cool store facility in Tamahere yesterday afternoon.

SSO Lovell, along with seven others from his Hamilton based crew, had responded to the incident at 4pm after reports of gas fumes coming from one of the buildings in the complex.

Whilst making entry into the facility, an explosion occurred that injured all eight firefighters. Derek Lovell was critically injured in the blast along with two of his colleagues but died later in Waikato Hospital.
His two colleagues are still listed in a critical condition and four others are in a serious but stable condition. One firefighter has subsequently been discharged.

The New Zealand Fire Service extends its deepest sympathy to the family of Mr Lovell and is providing support and assistance to them and to the other firefighters and their families involved in this tragic incident.

More details will be forthcoming as the facts surrounding this incident become clearer.

Scott Sargentina Corporate Communications Manager NZ Fire Service

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