For fifteen years Escea has been designing and manufacturing fireplaces, always with the same question in mind: “how can we make the next one better?”

Our Story

For fifteen years Escea has been designing and manufacturing fireplaces, always with the same question in mind: “how can we make the next one better?”

It’s this restless spirit that has seen Escea grow quickly into Australasia’s leading fireplace manufacturer.  From a small team of eight in 2002, to over 100 staff operating from their Dunedin-based factory today, Escea has proved that manufacturing can still succeed from our corner of the world.

By continually pushing gas fireplace boundaries on every level - aesthetics, heat output, efficiency and installation flexibility - Escea has won numerous design awards and cemented itself as the firm favourite of architects.

But that’s not why Escea does what it does. You see, Escea believes a house is not a home without a fireplace. So what really drives Escea is their quest to

put a fireplace at the heart of your home.



Burning Ambition

"As a kid, some of my best childhood moments were around the living room fire, and ever since I’ve had a passion for fireplaces. I worked as an engineer for fireplaces, a retailer of fireplaces, all working towards my goal of listening, learning, and one day creating my own."

Nigel Bamford, Founder



The ‘no compromise’ gas fireplace

After teaming up with Alan McGregor and Garth Milmine to start Escea, we looked at what was already in the market. Gas fireplaces would either look great, or heat your home, but nobody was doing both.  We set out to change that.

Nigel Bamford, Founder



Ahead of the Game

It was a year before the first iPhone came out, and being able to do things like control your fireplace with your phone was revolutionary. It was pretty exciting being in the news for something I helped create.

Dave Olsen, Senior Engineer



When elements collide

"We were on a family trip to Taranaki, hiking through Egmont national park with the kids. I noticed the interesting colours of the riverbed when we were crossing a stream, and pocketed some stones. I took them back to Dunedin for sampling, and now we have our most popular coal fuelbed, NZ River Rock."

Nigel Bamford, Founder


First Danish Interns

"My internship at Escea was amazing. The four of us came from Odense university in Denmark to spend seven months working at Escea during the week, and exploring the South Island during the weekends. We totally paved the way for the next decade of Escea Danish interns!"

Michael Nygard, Danish Engineering Intern


All about ambience

"People loved our first fire, the IB850, but we soon discovered that not everyone wanted that much heat. So our next fire, the ST900, gave them all the ambience they wanted with less heat, less energy and as a bonus it was silent, which people loved."

Wynn Owen, Project Manager / Compliance Manager



Taking on the USA

"We took our outdoor gas fire, the EF5000, to Cleveland, USA for testing. The days before the trip were a panic trying to build the stand for a tradeshow over there. We thought Dunedin was cold but this place was snowing and -31 degrees! So not a bad place to bring fireplaces…"

Alan McGregor, Production Engineer / Founder


New digs

"We were outgrowing our fireplace factory, an old car painting warehouse, and decided to make the leap into a purpose-built building five times larger. Having a blank canvas to implement our new Lean Manufacturing strategy was exciting, and has allowed for us to keep growing."

Mark Davie, Production Engineering Manager


Chance discovery

"After a trip to Europe, Nigel was keen for us to make a gas fire that was ultrawide. The problem was the bigger we made our fires, the more heat they made too. Like ridiculous heat. So we came up with vents to duct this heat around the home. We soon realised that we had created something new to the New Zealand market - a multiroom fireplace. Now known as the DX Series."

Alan McGregor, Production Engineer/ Founder


Smart move

"As iphones and apps became bigger we realised we needed to upgrade our phone remote system. We created the Smartheat app, expecting people to use it to turn their fires on before they got home. But for those that use it the app has pretty much replaced their remote altogether."

Dave Olsen, Senior Engineer



Architecturally designed

"We work a lot with architects, and when someone asks us for something we can’t do, Nigel doesn’t like to say no! That’s how the DL Series came about. They wanted flueing that could go up, down and sideways, so we did it - and now it’s on all of our products."

Richard Miller, Architectural Advisor



High steaks

"A lot of our interns work on big projects, but Taus Wind-Larsen was lucky enough to lead our first wood fire project - the EW5000 cooking fire. He nailed it and we still cook steak on the prototype he made for our lunchroom."

Garth Milmine, CFO, Founder and Intern Mentor



More flame, less frame

"The AF700 was our first project after working with Better By Design™, and we let our customer needs guide every step of the process. The result was a fire that was designed by the customer, for the customer."

Alex Hodge, Lead Designer


Straight to the source

"We like to send our engineers and designers to homeshows to talk to customers - they won’t close a sale as well as a salesperson, but they come back and feed such insights to the team. These insights led to the DS1400 - a fireplace with no frame and no ducts, exactly what people were asking for."

Ken Molloy, Head of Design & Engineering