Newspaper Article 2002 – Fire alert during funeral

Fire alert during funeral

A funeral for long-time firefighter Merv Tong in the Hastings Fire Station yesterday went uninterrupted despite a fire call as the service began.

The call, a false alarm to Enza in Coventry Road, was received at 2.08pm, one of only three calls to the Fire Service anywhere in New Zealand between 2pm and 3pm.

Eight firefighters quietly left in two appliances parked outside, as funeral celebrant Neville Williamson continued opening the service in the large station garage from where the full fleet had been removed to make room for mourners.

Mr Tong, whose grandfather was the Hastings Fire Brigade’s first superintendent, was a volunteer and paid firefighter in the Hastings area for 45 years. He died on Monday, aged 93.

An obituary will be published on Monday.

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Date published

28 March 2002

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Newspaper article


Hawke's Bay Today


Published with permission of Hawke's Bay Today


  • Merv Tong
  • Neville Williamson

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