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Injured firefighter thanks public for support


The Lower Hutt firefighter injured in a fire at Petone on 23 August says he is ‘blown away’ by all the messages of support and assistance he is getting from people around the country.

Troy Mahupuku (26) has undergone two skin grafts for burns on his back and three other surgical procedures since being flown to the National Burns Unit at Middlemore Hospital for treatment.

“Everyone has been amazing.  I have been getting a lot of support.  Cards and messages have come from the public who heard what had happened. There have been lots of messages from firefighters from around the country and lots of visitors. Guys from my old stations in Hamilton and Tauranga have been in to see me as well as some from the Hutt.  People from the Auckland stations are also dropping in and making sure anything we need is being taken care of.”

Troy and his partner Jessica Paine are expecting their first child in January and Troy said it was thoughts of them that kept him going in the fire.

“I was determined that I couldn’t die with my baby girl on the way and my girl Jess on the outside.  I think my first words when I was dragged out of the building were that ‘I’m out, I got out for my girls’.  I had a real feeling of relief.  There had been a lot of pain, it was agonising, but I couldn’t think about that, I had to concentrate and think and plan to get out alive.”

Troy said he has a very positive attitude and is now able to get out of bed and taking steps forward in his recovery.  “I was in quite a bit of pain at the start, but it’s minimal now and I am on good pain management.”

Troy and Jessica said they wanted to thank all the emergency personnel, hospital staff and others who have helped them along the way. They also thanked the Fire Service for all its support and assistance.

Region Manager, Assistant National Commander Ian Pickard said the Fire Service is doing everything it can for Troy and his family and wishes him a speedy recovery.  In the meantime, a full operational review of the incident is underway and is expected to be completed within a few months. 

The probable cause of the fire has been identified as an exothermic reaction between the chemicals being used in the process to manufacture racing car seats.

Note:  There will be no comment on the operational review until it has been completed.  Both Troy and Jessica have asked that any media enquiries be directed to NZFS Media Advisor Karlum Lattimore.  They are not ready to do any interviews at this time, but will release occasional updates on Troy’s progress.


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