Media Articles

It's not unusual for large fires and other emergencies to catch the attention of the media (for obvious reasons).  This is a selection of articles about some of the incidents our brigade has attended over the years, which have featured in local newspapers and various other publications.  There are also some articles written specifically about the brigade and/or its members. 

The brigade would like to thank the editors of the following publications for permission to reproduce their articles:

  • The Stokes Valley Times
  • The Hutt News
  • The Upper Hutt Leader
  • UFBA News
  • Star magazine

Stokes Valley volunteer firefighters Ben Horn and Renee Moffit did our Valley proud when they completed the race up Auckland's Sky Tower in full firefighting gear on May 17.

Ben completed the race - 1103 steps, 51 floors - to the top in 18 minutes and 43 seconds and Renee made it in 20.07, bettering her first two attempts with the Newlands brigade by two to three minutes.

They were among the 700 participants.
26th June 2013

A Hutt Valley man wrenched his elderly neighbour's bedroom window off its hinges to drag him from a burning house overnight.

A man in his 80s was taken to Hutt Hospital in a critical condition after a fire in his Horoeka St, Stokes Valley, house late last night. He was in a stable condition in the hospital's intensive care ward this morning.

Andrew StephenNeighbour Andrew Stephen at first thought the yells outside his home were someone down the side of his house.
22nd June  2013

Nicholas Down and his family have just suffered a $40,000 loss, but consider themselves lucky.

2013-06-22 Nicholas-DownThey think they were mere minutes from disaster.

Mr Down, his wife, Jodyann, and sons, Lachlon, 13, and Alexander, 4, had just left their Stokes Valley house on Thursday night when the roof ripped clean off.

His wife had taken the two boys to get takeaways and he was about to join them when it happened. "I heard a huge 'kerchunker' and I watched it go like it was slow motion. It went, like pulling the piece of paper off a tub of margarine."

They bought the house in March, and spent $40,000 on a renovation job which was almost complete.

Now, the roof is wrecked, the carpets and interiors sodden and the family will be stuck living elsewhere for another few months.

Central comcen shift manager Andrew Tollison and partner Barbie Patchell have had a rough time of things recently.

Andrew spent three weeks in hospital after nearly dying of pneumonia. He was home only five days when baby daughter Hannah, born 15 weeks premature, was hospitalised with a bronchial infection. Son Josh was born nine weeks premature.

"It's been a hell of a year", says Andrew. Swimming in baggy jeans that used to fit, he stopped by the office recently to say hello to colleagues he had not seen for over a month.

The Hutt News
6th August 2002

The Upper Hutt Leader
7th August 2002

Stokes Valley Fire Brigade's new website attracted 300-plus hits in its first week. It's inspired by other fire brigade websites and is a natural follow-on to having their history on an earlier site.

The Hutt News
12th April 1990

The Stokes Valley Fire Brigade is celebrating 50 golden years - or is that flaming years?

The highlight of the celebration this Easter weekend will be a parade of 10 fire appliances, including two veterans of fire-fighting in the valley. A Dennis 1923, which saw action after the Napier earthquake and in Stokes Valley in the 1950s, will take part courtesy of owners the Hutt Valley Vintage Car Club. The other veteran is a 1941 Ford V8 ex-Air Force truck converted in 1946 for the Stokes Valley brigade. The V8 is still being used by the Eastbourne Bushfire Force. But the appliances won't all be vintage - the brigade has even arranged for an airport crash tender to join in.

Stokes Valley's 25 volunteer firefighters last week received medals to acknowledge their contribution to safety and the community.

The Fire Service Commission is paying for the special medals for New Zealand's 12,000 urban and rural volunteer firefighters to mark International Year of Volunteers.