ballantynes fire facts

They didn't bring a ladder. Date 18 Nov 1947 Ref PAColl-8163-27 Description. With Hannah Marshall, Daniel Watterson, Mark Mitchinson, Jared Turner. Ballantynes Fire, Christchurch 1947 Ballantynes began trading in Christchurch in 1872, and has remained on site on Cashel Street since this date as a shopping destination in the city. They spent about 10 minutes searching for the seat of the fire but were unable to locate it. In 1947 more than 300 people were employed in the department store of J. Ballantyne & Co, situated on the corner of Colombo Street and Cashel Street in the centre of Christchurch. Urgent changes were recommended to building regulations and fire safety requirements to prevent similar disasters.[2]. The 1947 fire at Ballantynes’ Department Store, Christchurch is the worst fire in New Zealand history, killing 41 people. The cause of the fire was never established. These survived the fire.[9]. Just after 3:30 pm, smoke from the fire was first noticed coming up the cellar stairs. The bodies of the 41 victims were buried at Ruru Lawn Cemetery, Bromley, after a civic funeral. At this point he climbed out onto a window ledge as the fire engulfed the floor behind him and was the last person to be rescued by firefighters from Pratt's Building at 4:10 pm. The commission found that there had not been enough well-trained officers at the scene of the fire, and that the attempts to rescue the trapped workers had suffered from a lack of co-ordination and leadership. When the first fire appliance arrived about two minutes later at the Lichfield Street entrance the firefighters saw no sign of fire there. This call was received at the fire station at 3:46pm. Forty one coffins are laid out with flowers. The staff member who saw smoke coming from a stairwell asked a colleague to call the fire … The pergola that is part of the memorial collapsed in the 2011 Christchurch earthquake but was later rebuilt. This demonstrates that perhaps in addition to the years PRECEDING the fire, the yeARS SUCCEEDING it may also have yielded very little inquiries that were as serious and tragic as the Ballantyne's fire. Staff in other areas of the building complex were not even made aware of the fire as there was no fire alarm. The store management seemed to have not taken the risk of the fire seriously enough. Ballantyne's fire was the fire that changed many rules and regulations in not only the building of commercial buildings but how services responded to such events. The fire officer in charge soon realised the severity of the fire and sent a fireman to make a brigade call that would bring out all the fire appliances in Christchurch, but the call was delayed by overloaded telephone lines. Please ensure that you have JavaScript enabled in your browser. In this entry we will show you how to find information about the start of the fire, how it spread throughout the store, who … The fire which raged through Ballantyne's department store in Christchurch was the worst fire in New Zealand history. Another call was made to be certain. The fire soon became out of control with the loss of 41 lives. Only the supervisor and one of the department staff made it safely to the fire escape and down. The fire brigade at the time was understaffed, and the two most senior officers were not on duty. Photo / Supplied At least 680 people were in Ballantynes at the time of the fire - 430 staff and 250 customers. Directed by Joshua Frizzell. Local drama Ablaze re-enacts the Ballantynes' fire of 1947, one of New Zealand's deadliest disasters. Two credit department employees jumped together from a top floor window of Pratt's Building on the corner of Colombo and Cashel Streets. Find out…, Local history: organisations & businesses, digitised resources about the Ballantynes' Fire, Ballantynes fire memorial photos at NZ History.net, Christchurch City Libraries' Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. Yet a dignified Italianate facade concealed dangerous secrets. Search. The staff member who saw smoke coming from a stairwell asked a colleague to call the fire brigade. Forty-one people died and the resulting Royal Commission recommended urgent changes to the building regulations and fire prevention and firefighting throughout the country. [12], Coordinates: .mw-parser-output .geo-default,.mw-parser-output .geo-dms,.mw-parser-output .geo-dec{display:inline}.mw-parser-output .geo-nondefault,.mw-parser-output .geo-multi-punct{display:none}.mw-parser-output .longitude,.mw-parser-output .latitude{white-space:nowrap}43°32′00″S 172°38′10″E / 43.533414°S 172.636220°E / -43.533414; 172.636220, Learn how and when to remove these template messages, Learn how and when to remove this template message, "41 die in Ballantyne's fire | NZHistory, New Zealand history online", "Fires and fire services—Fires in the 1940s", "Ballantynes' fire – Report of the Royal Commission Summary", "Ballantynes' fire – Report of the Royal Commission: Staff Response", "Ballantynes department store inferno survivor reveals failures and omissions in NZ's worst fire tragedy", "NZ Archives listing for Commission of Enquiry papers", "Ablaze: TV Movie about the Ballantynes fire", https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Ballantyne%27s_fire&oldid=973854069, Pages containing links to subscription-only content, Articles needing additional references from November 2011, All articles needing additional references, Wikipedia articles with style issues from December 2019, Articles with multiple maintenance issues, Articles with unsourced statements from December 2019, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 19 August 2020, at 16:24. WorldCat Home About WorldCat Help. In 1947 Ballantynes had 458 staff, and its premises were made up of eight buildings, joined by openings to make one establishment. The first telephone call to the fire brigade was logged at 3:46 pm, though the phone operator simply stated that she was told to inform them there was a cellar fire at Ballantyne's. Ballantynes’ Fire factsheet – An easy to read summary of this disaster. Ballantynes' Fire 18 November 1947. Advanced Search Find a … After the fire, Ballantynes continued to trade from its undamaged building in Lichfield Street. It was the largest funeral in Christchurch’s history. The women climbed out the window and jumped, landing on a first-floor veranda. They didn't bring a ladder. The decision was made not to bring a turntable ladder to the scene of the fire as a cellar fire was not usually regarded as serious. He told the woman to call the fire brigade and tell the owners. Deborah Challinor’s novel Fire is a historical romance based on the Ballantynes Fire, but set instead in Auckland 1953. 41 people lost their lives, 39 staff and 2 of the company's auditors from the partnership of Stewart Beckett. This demonstrates that perhaps in addition to the years PRECEDING the fire, the yeARS SUCCEEDING it may also have yielded very little inquiries that were as serious and tragic as the Ballantyne's fire. From its humble beginnings the Ballantynes business expanded until, by 1947, it occupied 80 m of street front in Cashel Street, 50 m in Colombo Street and another 21 m in Lichfield Street. Forty-one of his staff perished. The fires finally burnt out completely by 8:00pm. Photo: Supplied. These fact cards are related to the events that unfolded in 1947 when the fire broke out at the Ballantyne's department store in Christchurch, New Zealand. The senior fire officer ordered a Brigade Call, although that order was only received by the fire station at 4:00 pm. 41 people died in total and the fire it is still considered one of New Zealand's worst disasters . Outside the firemen struggled to fight the flames in vain. Half an hour after the fire was approximately discovered, the heat and smoke went into flashover, erupting across the cojoined first-floors of the Congreve's, Goodman's, and Pratt's buildings. It is on a fire disaster that happened in 1947. Ballantynes fire, Christchurch. He worked with other members of the staff to place fire extinguishers at the bottom of the stairs. When the fire began in a basement about 3.30 p.m., 250–300 people were shopping at Ballantyne’s, which had a staff of 458. Oct 2, 2019 - Explore Amelia Ward's board "Ballantynes Fire (RIP Isobel)" on Pinterest. The last bodies were not carried out of the building until 21 November. [2] The Ballantyne Memorial Rose Garden was built at Ruru Lawn Cemetery. This delayed the attempt to rescue the trapped workers. Inasmuch as no requisition was served on Messrs. Ballantynes bv the fire brigade, it cannot be said that there was a breach of the Christchurch Fire Board Fire Escapes By-law, 1930. The store's interior partitions had untreated soft wood-fibre linings that had been permitted by the Christchurch City Council contrary to its own bylaws. No definite cause of the fire could be found, but the report of the commission pointed to two factors that had made the situation much more serious. Sixty-eight years ago on November 18, 1947 Christchurch's Ballantynes department store was razed by fire. On 18 November 1947 a fire broke out in the store and many workers became trapped on the upper floors. The Ballantynes fire on November 18, 1947 remains New Zealand's deadliest fire tragedy. From there they were rescued by firemen. It took four days to dampen down hot spots, demolish unsafe walls and recover other human remains. Image collection: Ballantynes’ Fire. It remains the deadliest fire in New Zealand history.[2][3]. Twinkl » New Zealand » Years 4 - 6 » Topics/Themes » Festivals, Celebrations and Events Even the arriving fire brigade crews did not realise at once that there were still people on the upper floors of the building complex. Create lists, bibliographies and reviews: or Search WorldCat. [7] Many staff only knew the layout of their own workrooms and were unaware of alternative egress routes.[6]. The fire in Christchurch’s prestigious department store was the deadliest in New Zealand’s history. The fire-damaged buildings were demolished and the main Ballantynes store was rebuilt on the corner of Colombo Street and Cashel Street. She said each year a wreath is laid at the Ballantyne's fire memorial in the Ruru Lawn Cemetery in Bromley. Today marks the 73rd anniversary of the Ballantynes Department Store fire. The department store blaze remains the deadliest fire in New Zealand history, claiming the lives of 41 people. Christchurch writer Stevan Eldred-Grigg’s 1993 book Gardens of Fire is … [10], A commission[11] later determined that the fire response had been inadequate and the building had not met fire regulations, though it had passed its last inspection four years earlier. The brigade initially thought that the fire was contained to the cellar. Funeral for the Ballantynes Fire Victims at Ruru Lawn Cemetery, Christchurch. The fire brigade officers had not recognised the potential danger of the fire soon enough to act effectively. The cause of the fire was never established. On Tuesday, 18 November 1947, a fire engulfed Ballantynes department store in central Christchurch, New Zealand. Civic funeral for 41 Ballantyne's fire victims. Photograph taken on 26 November 1947, by an unidentified photographer for the Free Lance. The latter was considered equally unlikely as Keith Smith, the employee who was last working in the cellar, had left at about 3:30 pm for his afterno… The bodies of the 41 victims were buried at Ruru Lawn Cemetery, Bromley, after a civic funeral. When some minutes later the fire brigade had still not arrived, the salesman began to get concerned. [2] The commission noted that the 30 minutes between the first call to the fire brigade and point of flashover would have been enough time to evacuate everyone in the building without injury. She died soon after from her injuries. The quality of the photograph seems to date it after the Ballantyne's fire. If you want to find out more about this tragic event, Christchurch City Libraries has a resource that features transcripts of articles from newspapers and other sources about the fire. Hoses were used to wet him down until ladders could be moved into position. The staff had no access to a formal fire evacuation plan. By 6:00pm firemen, policemen and volunteers were able to begin the search for bodies lying in the charred ruins. These fact cards are related to the events that unfolded in 1947 when the fire broke out at the Ballantyne's department store in Christchurch, New Zealand. The brigade initially thought that the fire was contained to the cellar. Other. The women who had stayed in the office died in the fire. Of the 41 who died, 38 were staff, two were external auditors and one was from the Retail Salesmanship College. The fire at the Ballantynes Department store in Christchurch on 18 November 1947 was the worst fire in New Zealand’s history and 41 people died. As soon as things got hot for them, they left on their own behest. They were met by joint managing director Roger Ballantyne, who showed the fire crew a back access way to the cellar. However, the fire-brigade ladders were obstructed from reaching the top floor by the store's rigid verandahs.[3]. Two of the buildings had been constructed before fire escapes became a mandatory requirement, and the Fire Brigade had not directed the owners to install them despite a 1930 bylaw requiring it to do so. [8] Some showrooms on the ground floor were evacuated by sales employees taking their own initiative, but staff in some of the other showrooms on the ground floor were ordered by management to 'carry on' or 'stand by'. Although the store had held evacuation drills during wartime these had ended when hostilities ceased. The department store blaze remains the deadliest fire in New Zealand history, claiming the lives of 41 people. Around the outside of the building was a veranda which made it difficult for the fire fighters to put up their ladders. Kenneth Ballantyne had found himself trapped. The quality of the photograph seems to date it after the Ballantyne's fire. Staff discovering the fire informed their floor manager upon their own initiative. CHRISTCHURCH, NEW ZEALAND. Some staff returned to their work areas after their tea-break while others evacuated the building. At first the firefighters had only shorter ladders which could not reach the windows on the upper floors. Tardiness is the enemy of some, but it once saved Miss New Zealand from a horrific death. ; Ballantynes’ Fire resource –Transcripts of articles from newspapers and other sources regarding the Ballantynes’ Fire. By now over 200 firefighters using 20 appliances were fighting the blaze, but they were unable to make any headway against the fire. 41 people had died in the blaze. Ballantynes is a well-known department store in Christchurch. A DigitalNZ Story by Donna Robertson. Staff were eagerly awaiting a visit from … In 1947 more than 300 people were employed in the department store of J. Ballantyne & Co, situated on the corner of Colombo Street and Cashel Street in the centre of Christchurch. He had gone across the street to smoke a cigarette with a friend, since Ballantynes had a strict no-smoking policy on its premises. Most of the upper floors were staff work areas, including the dress-making department, and the credit and accounting department. The fire at the Ballantynes Department store in Christchurch on 18 November 1947 was the worst fire in New Zealand’s history. About 250 customers and the retail staff on the ground floor were moved outside, but there was no move to clear the upper floors of the staff who had just returned to work after their tea break. The Ballantynes fire on November 18, 1947, remains New Zealand's deadliest fire tragedy. The other seven died after they collapsed from smoke inhalation. The centre of the complex began to collapse soon after. See more ideas about Fire, Christchurch, Christchurch new zealand. A commission of inquiry into the disaster opened in Christchurch two months later. This speaks to the significance of the fire due to its rarity. Map and Info Map and Info 40 people unfortunatly perished while one pregnant woman … If you want to find out more about this tragic event, Christchurch City Libraries has a resource that features transcripts of articles from newspapers and other sources about the fire. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button. The Ballantynes Department Store Fire, which occurred at Christchurch on Tuesday the 18th November 1947, is one of New Zealand's greatest tragedies and one of the countries most disastrous fires. A dramatisation of the fire, Ablaze, was directed by Josh Frizzell and screened by TVNZ in 2019. They then moved into Colombo Street where they saw smoke coming out of an enclosed alleyway. Although an electrical fault or a discarded cigarette butt were both suggested as possibilities, the former could not be excluded by the commission of enquiry. From any modern day building inspector, was highly dangerous. She and her unborn child later died in hospital. Another woman jumped from a third floor window, hitting the veranda and then landing on the road. 1947 The Ballantynes Fire, 18 November The Ballantynes fire was a tragic event in the history of New Zealand and for Christchurch and Ballantynes in particular. The fire is thought to have started in one of the basements of the Congreves building. The group moved to another area but were driven back by the smoke. In the credit department the office workers waited to shut up the office equipment, then tried to leave by the fire escape, but could not use it because of the smoke and heat. The building was unsafe, and did not meet city building regulations, although it had been inspected and passed four years earlier. [4] The business was managed as a series of partnerships involving Ballantyne family members until formed as the company J. Ballantyne & Co. in 1920. Ballantynes' Fire 18 November 1947. The fire at the Ballantynes Department store in Christchurch on 18 November 1947 was the worst fire in New Zealand’s history. You can search the catalogue for more photographs.. Ballantynes’ Fire factsheet – An easy to read summary of this disaster. Although an electrical fault or a discarded cigarette butt were both suggested as possibilities, the former could not be excluded by the commission of enquiry. All four people who lived in the home had safely evacuated before firefighters arrived. None of the victims were identifiable apart from Violet Cody. On 18 November 1947 Ballantyne's, a Christchurch department store that was a local institution, was razed by one of the worst fires in New Zealand's history. An historical romance based on the Ballantynes Department Store Fire in 1947 that killed 41 people, most of them store employees trapped in controversial circumstances. The fire was put out by 8 pm leaving the building as a gutted shell. Some parts of the building had no access to fire escapes. Most of the upper floors were staff work areas, including the dress-making department, and the credit and accounting department. A civic mass funeral was held on 23 November at Ruru Lawn Cemetery in Bromley, the largest funeral in Christchurch’s history. Ballantynes Fire Luke Sherry St Andrews College Overview Info On the 18th of November 1947 Ballantynes Department store in Christchurch erupted in flames. They did not realise that people were trapped on the upper floors of the building. K41 is the code used when there are fatalities at an incident responded to by Fire and Emergency New Zealand. 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