At around 3.35p.m. in the afternoon. an empkyee Twoyoungfrardc~hadFunpedthrough
of the wmpany noticed smoke drHting ur, the stairs hom a the smoke and flames from a second floor hin
cellar in the - building. He went t o ' investigate and Pratt's&lildirrginCdombosh.eetBothwerain~
encountered hot smoke i a sedion of the basement.
There were no signs o h e , nor could he hear the a jumping sheet by firemen. Another woman akdjumped
sound of burning. Returning to the ground fkmr to ~ oa t f o a second tloor window in Cashel street, susbhbq
fire extinguisher, he asked for the F i Brigade to be injuries from which she died at 7.45 p.m. that
called, and then returned to the celbr.
At the Centml Fire Station i Lichfield Street an
n Mr Kenneth Balkntyne, joint managing dtrector of
exchange telephone call was receiwed at 3.46 p.m.. the the company. had to be helped down a ciupemtersladder
female voice on h e telephone stating "Iwas told to n+ to the d r m a d - f l o a window.
you that there is a fire in the c e h o BaUantynes."
The general a h sounded and two pum- ripphmsba1thersnewerenotkngenollghb
appliances and the salvage van turned out. The T i h ~ - rescueQhlshppedinthe,milbnery~~~
Stevens 28-metre extension ladder, which would fowthfloorofGoodmansBuPdinghadakobeen
normally have responded to a call in the hlgh-value area unswreosful bscause of a shordaO in bdder length.
o the city was held back on thin occasion. Thk uras
dedded by the Duty Officer because the Officer in ChaFQe Onthisoacarkn,thehdderwasmanhaddmto
d the appliance was o f station, and dso k a w e the
awliances were resrrondins to a cellar fire.
-- floor. Eventually it caught d& and c o k p d into the
The first appliance-(No. 11. Ford VS) had names-
proceeded three Mocks down Uchfield Street bcheck thk When the TiStevens ladder aniwd on the
entrance to the premises, but finding no sign of Rre. the raeneitwasnotusedforreseuebutSBfupasaw~
appbance moved mound into Colombo Street and puled tawerinCashelS~neartheCdomboStreetcomer.
up just south of the buildings. Smoke w a seen coming Both streai were a mare o wemead hamway and
from an endosed alleyway and over the verandah of ~wiringwhichres&ictedaecesstoupperfloas
Congreve's Buikting. the most southerly o the BaOMtyna
buikhgs fronting Colombo Street. The other two Asmore~arrived.hoselines~Qotto
appliances anived shordy a f t d (No. 1. Dennk and wak from stmounding shaets until thirty jsts was
No. 3 Dennis &age van). having come via High a d pouringwater ontotheflames.Atthehsightdtheb.
Cashel streets. 231 men were involved. The fue was not sunounded and
AdebwrywarnmfmnNo 1 htotht88eywayand bught under 4 until about 5.30 p.m. Crews
one man donned a Robe& bcahhg ret and wakedforhwrsbdthebuddingswdmakem~to
Charsoofthk~andtheOIRcarinChargeofthe A shocked silence hung over the city as the death td
inddentwereb~th~tindbrz~dusbrgthk m o u n t e d t o a ~ 4 1 .
At the time. EhUanlynels ptPmkes comprised eight cqtsbissrrtdcprbnartstores,trapQingrglf,dusbrga
Wi wvexing a one-acre site in the business heart d normdwa#ng.hgmKn,widhtheFhcBrigadefn
the city. The buildings were constructed d W, with ammhce,crratrdnamadbrodcandappshension
wooden fbors on wooden and unpmtectd mIhd s t d hWthecounby.
pirts (R.S.J.). The three dbtind bUiWllgd fmntirrg Ironhlty t i war the second occasion a -
Colombo and Cashel Streetr had stone facades and had had been @ed on this site. In 1888. Hobday's two-
been w n s h c t e d at Merent thnes. As the business had storeybuildingonthecomerofcarheland~rnbo
r z Y
tS by &I9dingattheitmeofthe 1947fire. Byc0inddence.h
Congreve'sBuikhg,themostsouthdyinCdomba Rre kigade had aho eontrrJBed a serious basement fire in
Street, wasofthreefkoldanditwasinthebasmaud E. C. R e d s b3ding next door in 1917. confining the
thkbuildingthatthefireis~tohavestated. damage to the basement sea.
Goodman's EuUding. sitwted next door, on chc Advlchmerdservkeurasheldinthe~urch
north side, was offour Aoors with a basement. and M s AngDcan Cathemal on Nouember 23. folbwed by a mass
Building. ofthree fkmm, also wlth a basement. Bxtsndsd burialsenricoattheRunrLawn<'Rmetery.~of
to the comer of, and m n d into Cashel Sbeet. ~attendedthe~intheSquare.paidtheirbst
Whih the Brigade had been endewourb.rg b &d rupectsaOngthemute,orvidtadthe~~.
spreading by means o two Idt shahs and super-hsalpd
gases and smoke had been rising to upper floors. At about takensof~.
4 p.m., the fire Ylashed overn Md the buklings erupted In 1948, the Government appointed a Royal
in a mass o fkme,trapping some staff on upper fban.
f &mmk6km t i n v a t i p k a0 aspeck of the fire. The
The Tilling-Stems ladder turned out at 3.59 p.m.
+ Commissbn c o d Si HaroldJohnston K.C. (retbd
court j+) chaim~n, A. W. ~ladkay
(hedent ofthe Federatbn o Labour),Mr A. J. DideiOn
T h i r d O f R c e r J . ~ ~ t h e O I R c e r i n C h & g e d ~ (Auddand C&y E g n e ) and Mr C. A. Wodoy
fire, had sent a ftreman to find a tekphons and a (hpdntendent. W d i n g h F i Brigade). % sat for 65
"Bdgade W. This man had d i f f k d y
a contact dayshearing186~whosoevidence~
nowrlrocrhghdoutIha&.The~scallwas When the Commission brought down I b
recdvrd.t4p.m.whrmrhlhnrpphna-tund mmnnmadat&ns in August. certain pdnts dated b the
0 r d f K n n ~ m d a w . I m a W a e o l a d e d ~ I h r UPgradfngd~equipmentwMchtfieheBoaad
~ r s c e d t o t h e ~ f r o m S y Q n h m . totheFireServieegenedy.#nnedwhiEhwasnot
Freezing Works. An ~ a e k p d d fiom
r i 1976.
camp. he Wodcton a p p h a a n d o n e Amrymrchhr
Meanwhile the fue had to tr0msndaUs
BallPntynes me. 3.
Fire Debris Falls
20 Missing; All Bodies Not Far from Scene
IVlth nmnks rlnlng n ellle into
the nlr, nlnnsr-9 of tlebrln were
Yet Recovered n
a r r i r d over the a o ~ ~ t h e rnnd
wmtern pnrtn of the city from
the fin. Plrcen of tnrncl m n n g
felt fell I n Nmhere Rt.rest, Rlc-
EMPLOYEES TRAPPED IN Rtmngmt of a l l was an
unrmrchrd Tlnllmntyne's docket
which flnttered Into the ~ n r d e n
BLAZE of a h o l ~ r eI n F ~ i n ~ n
the Rlwarton Utate hauslng
Rtmet. I n
block a nallla and half from the
fire. F n ~ g m e n t r of cl~nrred
pnprr f r l l a t Rlcenrton r a c e
In me of the greatcot fire twgcdits in the history of New coume.
~ m d28 perished, one died from injurits, und 10 other pctronr.
iduding a baby, were officiully reported missing. The dinmter oo
eumd when f ~ r ein one hour,
, wept yesterday aftemom thmu& The Star-Sun, Now 19, 1947. p.4.
tbc meacre block of the three-storey drapery rtore of I. B.lhtyne
rad Company, Ltd. Another four p e m e were nportd w "doubt-
ful," the po~ibilitybein# held that they may ,mt have h#rd the
bradcad call to rcport in the evening.
The fullnem of the - y
t will probably not be known for
m m l days, but rccovcry operations were mopdal at
with the knowledge that other bodiee were lyind m the mn WOMAN'S FATAL
bell. The bodice recovered M, far were t h from the
thc muin entrunce and in a part of the Colombo street frontqie. Wb
8 #cater part of the debris yet to be scsuchcd, tcmqins of bodia JUMP FROM THIRD
were viuble in the N i n e , hanging from raftem and lying om the top
of a fire escape.
Of the staff of 300 employed by the firm, the exact number m k
TWO HAVE LUCKY
ing luat night wcu not known, and there is a porsibility that an un- ESCAPE
known number of customen may also have bcm trapped in tbc 'hro of thq' U m ofMe e m p l o y m
trom thlrd storey w b -
Only the danger of the oollapse of the Oamvu atone of
dowr on olombo street had fortunate
era s trom mlwr injury. mnd the
~ h r E c h u r c h~ a p l t a llast night re-
the &om c a d * the moovery work to be wapendcd,, ud it d mt portd t h ~ t their condluon w u u t i r -
be raumcd untrl the h e l l is made safe or dcmoiirbcd. The M fwtory. h e thlrd w m n war wrl-
o u l y Injured. and d l 4 I n the h o r g l h l
rdl must, therefore, be indefinite until a check ir made on ~ V W Y at 1.48 p.m. She was:
baron who wor known to have been in tho bddhd or crbo w v
BIN VI.W m C J t t r -1.
a b l y in the buildin&. m i d m unknown.
The Rws, N w 19, 1947. P 7. The Injured women were:-
In N.ut O W r Nrak a cd 28. ol
71 C M W D ~ street. s*.yton.
a R w ,8gd a.
ACRE OF STORE Swmnns rod. Richmond.
Miss Kenncdy'r flmec. who works
DESTROYED nemr 8.U.ntynes. ran to the buildina
when he heard thrr a In had broken
out. and w u in rlme to help I m n e n
lilt M l u Kennedp from Lhe vennda
on l o which she umprd. M m Nash
* ( 8 close f r l m of M l u Kennedy.
Fierce And Swift Fire
md the two decided to Jump when
Umy found that a l l erltm trnm the od-
mlnislr8tlva dkes wem bbcksd W
The Press, hkv 19, 1947. p. 7.
LOSS PUT AT GRIM JOB FOR
Demolition of Walls
Probable GUTTED STORE
E grim taek of searching for the remains of the victims
COLOMBO STREET of the fire was resumed early this morning. Jt wan a piti-
fa. task, and the member8 of the Police Force, the Fire Brigade,
- and the Army, who undertook it, worked in purposeful silence.
Green tarpaulins were kept handy to shroud the recovered
A connervrtlve crtlmale of t h bodiee before they were moved to the morgue.
BCIU~~ n n . dam. c b bulldlnm and
rtmk war f S Q O . ~ . r l w k *lone
the Work was concentrated on the Colombo Street frontage
bdny. valued m mure than. C#Q.Oa
t b t of all, and not very far in from the windowa the men
Only the workronm pmrt of the h l Y -
In# in Colomk, r1r-t w u o w m d bf found five bodies early in their search. They were all charred
J. B.llmtyne 8nd Cornpurl. Ud.. the beyond recognition. Later, portions of bodiee were found, and
r u t k i n g leased from the h t t tbese~ were also placed reverently in the tarpaulins.
Whether the Colombo and Cvhrl At this stage, fairly well into the morning now, the labour
rtrccr tronb en of lhe bulldins d l 1
have to k down tor d e b wlll squads had not worked deep back into the building, and most
trmt part 0%.
thlr motllin The cm-
Ittree m t t m ~n CO-
of them conaidered that further bodies awaited discovery when
lombo r l m t had a lean of OM toot they could venture further in. It was hard, back-breaking work,
and lb I t bwardr the mlmt lut nl ht for progress was made slow by the tangled mass of charred
and the krlYln# m C1 - r W timbera, twisted and blackened roofing iron, watersoaLed cin-
had a pmawnccd kan.
Colnmbo r t m t wan roped dl .ad dere to a depth of up to three feet, and the almost unrecoqnie-
FdkTLTA 'E :A%
C. S. Luney and Company &#.Ibb
able remnants of merchandise.
On revera1 the men water on to stubborn sections where
monrln on dmsdltlw or rtrmlthm- Were workine in sectom where fire ffames still showed or wbere hot
dks amhorlng of the f r o n t m ~
kt o Uw &ell of the bulldha wlll b e
nln mt t o'clock and only a dcWkd Ln-
Was still smouldering and they had embers
to deeiet while a hoee was turned 6n Belratlon Armr W
rprtlon will decide whether the lanJ tho place. There was always the No Praise can be too high for the
b wlll l n t k pulkd down
% dutmtou lean ot the Colombo
fronIaae wm qukkly r- e
danger of falling timber and iron, members of the Salvation Army.
but the - y took steps mini- Who last nieht and again thLe mom-
w I W n an hour by Cr. J. E 'hl hla-
d t a bulldm a* r stontrrori a-
mh this risk by bringing in a ing distributed And tea and food to
the Army also
sup ly of steel helmets, and also the workers.
E L to U City Enslneer t Y r E
1 m d War e 0 n r u l t . h b o ~ -& gloves, from ~~~~h~ played its part in this direction.
Several of the men sufiered minor Meals were provided at Poulsen
.~$&(t; ofh bulldlng. he&$
& cuts but members of the St john Street for any who required them,
~mb~lance Brigade were standing and at 3 a.m. to-day a hot meal ! sa
by, as they had done right through served to the hundred helpers. Lleu-
Ih. U elutrlt.1
~ b the night, to give adstance.
& h ~ ~ e ~ C tenant-Colonel F L. Davis, who was
occasionally coins were icked up i charge of the Army effort, travel-
the bkch aRecM k l n s C- o by the searchers. ~ome&es p e ~ led to Burnham and arranged for
M trom, Wchfkld b H- e mnal 'on8 were found, for a hot midday meal to be brought In
KIns r hne In Cuh.1 r b example7-e case. Unfortu- to those who were still working in
~ 3 , o .
M u* A . m n S
mrlnr w o r k After sell1
&- nately, this last, well blackened, car- the fire area.
~ o * . d t&
l m Brlr*. ried no marks by which its owner Police. Army, and Fire Brigade
8wlIch.d on t b ~mpply to (b. could be identifled. The fact that officers combined today in praise of
at 7.u , r charred office recorb were found all who had assisted. Some of the
where one of the squads was work- volunteers, soaked through and
ing this morning suggested that the almost asleep on their feet, had to
The Press, Nov 19, 1947. p.7. b o d h they removed might be those be forced to sto and o somewhere
of members of the ofice staf!. to sleep. ~ e & m other retail
firms in the uty were prominent in
=w this regard, as well as men of
Strict Control for B ri well down Colombo and H M N Z S Bellona, who were taken
Cashel streeta kept members of the for a welldeserved meal at Poulsen
public back, but police and soldiem Street after their gallant work.
Traffic in City who were on
sieged by &us
ard there were be The mute mourners behind the
Lnsulfie fmm barriers s.eemed reluctant to move
relatives and friends of the missing. to-day wh~le there was hope of an
Strict supervision of tratiic in the
area affected by the Are will be They were gently informed that news, even although they feared
idenaiflcation of the bodiea would be w p d be bad news
maintained u n t ~ lthe restoration of extremely difficult. It breaks my heart to approach
the lights a t the intersection of Thmugh the cold hours of the those barriers and see the women's
~olomllboand Cashel Streets makea night, police, firemen, Army Person- faces," said one soldier who had
wssible the. re-establishment of a nel, and -volunteers stood by, and been working at top pressure inside
itorma1 flow. Since the outbreak continued the work of directing the the wrecked building.
trafec has not been allowed in
Cashel Street between Oxford Ter-
race and High Street, nor in The Star-Sun. Nov 19, 1947. p.3.
Colombo Street between Hereford
and Lichfield Streets.
As diversion of transport is
necessary, doublebanked parking in
Hereford and LichAeld Streets, and
in Manchester Street between
Armagh . Street and Moorhouse
Avenue, will be strictly prohibited.
The Star-Sun, Nov 19, 194
On search to LAST SURVIVOR OF
Find Victims FIRE UNDERWENT
forty-seven pople missing, k v e d dead,
two injured, and property loss of more than f 500,-
000, disaster struck with incredible swiftness kte y&kr-
day afternoon to destroy Ballantyne's entire store on the
corner of C s d and Colombo Streets.
It was the city's greatest tragedy. Striking like wild- Seared by flames licking out was, and firemen player1 hoses on
fire, the Rames were right through the acre block within from the blazing canldron tion until her to escape.placed in posi-
a ladder was
fifteen minutes of the alarm at 3.46 p.m.. trappiig stail behind him, the h t man Then .them was a grMn from the
and shoppen at the busiest time of the day. escape from the third ~torey crowd when a man was seen wav-
handkerchief through the
Ballaniyne's yesterday had two ing his almost o h m r i n g a thircl-
Piteous scenes-were w i t n d as hoses played on him to protect storey window. In searing heat,
jumped from upper floor windows. or him nntil a ladder conld be sel which could be felt flfty yards away.
appeared, bridy, only to fall back into the across
up. Ria rescue brought a cheer firemena chargedup to thethe street.
flamts. placed ladder
from spectators massed in and warmed up it to placeverandah. a second
A gigantic maelstrom of flame leaped 300 feet into Colombo Street. who h d earlie1 ladder in m i t i o n for the rescue.
lire air for more than half an hour. punctuated with e
seen two ~ r l escape from the ~ & c d by Plrcnlrn
violent, surging outbursts as parts of the roof and floors same floor. Spectiltom were appalled to see
fell in. Flames spouted from windows all round the block hcribing the scene as thnt it was too short. A s the mall
and sealed the way of escape lor many.
The I d degree of the disaster was not rePlissd until
ghastly," Mr C D. W.L Shep
. . &z!Ey$'g: t J t e d f 6 ~ ~ 2 ~ E
that the man .who afford what protection they could.
t o w a d 6 p.m. when a party of police was able to enter endured the ordeal waR M Ken- Almost obscured by smok. the
the gutted building fmm Colombo Street and seek the neth ~ ~ l ~ firemen worked frantically to get a
l a director of ~
remains of several victims. After dark, until operations
longer tladder up, as flames billowed
the finn Ot the girts who from the first floor windows. The
were suspended at 8.30, the gruesome task of recovering eScZIpcd, one fell or jnmped to trapped man was obviously on the
the bodies continued. collapse, but held
the verandah above the ahow Point of and there was a.eheerout
Again this morning, parties were at work. pnrticu- windowe. The other. heeding the pluckily, he
lady in the south-t corner of the building. where many Urgent d l 8 of the firemen, His rescue was effected none. too
bodies were intermingled with debris fmm the upper waited for a ladder. soon. for only minutes later, acconi-
Boors. crackle, sheets
S w i n g of the startling sudden- panled by a menacingalong
After this dcbris had been cleared, many more
nem with which an ap rently front as Aame swept burned the shop
power lines out.
minor outbreak became a in
remains were found near the m i entrance to the shop,
an The lines
a matter of minutes, both Mr L W. Peports, and snappedo r with onshaw
ad about t! entrance half-way down the Cdombo Street Payne, a city business man. of Mer- smat s the
g e street, and ~m J. ~ u ~ ~ opposite footpath scattered in fear
h ~ ,
hwF- Tdinster m d , who was about to as the white, electrical flames flared
No one was able to afEount fot the amazhg enter the bullding, said that out against the orange mass of the
rapidity with which the 9unui engulfed the buildiryG in the top s t m y ohrioa~lyh a g :
i ! of thelr danger.
d? bugzfab;ilgf .miemen werr
Although he would not hazard a guess on the Migh T e seem& to be takfn only quick to do what they could to help
of the fire this morning, the Superintendurt of the Christ- ? casual interest." said MI L y n e . the Rrebrlgdesaen in the alnlunt
church Fire Brigade (Mr A Morrison) said that it Thm the smoke billowing out hopelm task that confronted them.
appeared to him to have started in the cellar or basanat. from below, pm&\&lly hid them, and an ofRuer of the R.N.Z.A.F. was
and they eereamed Help!' and one of the first volunteers to lend a
Deep as the tragedy was one aspect made it even waved their handkerehlefs. hand with a lead of hose at the
more m. Two of the missing persons. M i J. M. Uoyd,
the youngest daughter of Mr and Mrs S. C. Uayd of
Papanui, and Mr W. S. McKibbin, only son of Mr ad Mrs
V. J. Man, of Grhmae, had intended to announce
their engagement last night. could not enter.
Those c l a d c d in the ofkial list as doubtful d - M . Vsnndab
t i i had not hem t r a m f e d to the main list of mLring
persons this dc n o , but no word had been obtained of
tr o a
their whereabouts. and it was consiired die that
they also were among the victim:
The rannins of two, or p l b l y three p e m were
found about the centre of the building this alternuon.
T i brings the total of lurown dead up to thhy& or
The Star-Sun, M v 19, 1947. p. 1.
The Star-Sun, Now 19. 1947. p.4.
Philip, A.A. Ahways ready. New Zealand Fire SemMce,
1985. p.79. Abve:
further Mew abng COIOmb
*eet between Tuam and Lichfield Streets.
The three Ballantynes bu~ gs which hont Colombo Street can be jdenhtred m rnis view, after the flames have died
down. The buildings (from1-,. are Congreves (3floors), Goodmans (4 floors), with Pratts (3 floors)just visible. Reece's
premises, the scene of a basement fire in 1917, are to the left. (D.R. Mackay)
PhilrCps, A.A. Always ready. New Zealand Fire Service, 1985. p.81.
- SEARCH AMONG RUINS
CIVILIANS DELAYED BY DANGER
CROWD KEPT BACK BY
FROM DAMAGED WALLS
Although general1 the public s t d With unsearched parts of t h e if they were removed parts of the
well back from the 6re; a h o had to ~ fall. but
gutted building deemed unsafe walls would morning. this did not
be turned on a crowd ~t the comer of for workers. recovery of the
Cnshel and Colombo streets to drive
lhem away. At the tlme the coUapre remains' of victims of ~ ~ l l a n t v n eI ' s
- - - - -~-- - ~ -------
U r z i l ~ i l ~bscnients
into the. street of Ballanvne's b ~ ~ l d - Before the punlping out started.
wns likely. fire was postpnned this the basements had between and
c hhse FRS also u s 4 tn disperse a while the debris was eight feet of water in them. B~ -.
crnwd which had gathered on t t e ~t is believed that there may mid-day. the levelwasdown to a f &
ccrnnda of the shop opparik Beathr ~nches,and the pumps were having
corner. Collapse d the veranda r w l d be in the trouble with cilider and payer.clloked
have a d d 4 tn the roblenu of k-p- particularly i n t h e rear portions, intakes.
ind order. flgMir\~ ?he fire and w i t - and round t h e entrance on t h e Operations were again under the
I n for emergmcles. direction of the City Engineer (Mr E.
? WRR n hushed crowd yhich waited
t corner of Colombo a n d Cashel Seiners), who had at Itis disposal
at ~Llrhneldstreet and In Colombo Streets, where i t is still too more than 100 men, drawn from the
s t m t bryand Kincaid s to the north dangerous to work. City Council, the Public Works
beyond the G r ~ d Hotel in Cash4 I De artment, and the Army.
st-t nnd to the eest. in Cashel mtreet Pumps clearing t h e basements qeavily pediment$. and bulging
be ond Beta' bulldlng for confirma- of water were nearing t h e end of omrnously, the renla~nlng Colombo and higher
tick of the fears that tragedy had three-storey section of the
stalked with the fire. Aa rumours their task this morning. Street frontage has been worrying
trkkled through of the mounting death workers
~b~~~ may be bodies in the salvage fire, for since the afterlimn
mll. the crowds became slleatly of the It appeared to be
h06r-drlcken tangle of girders, beams, twisted ready to fall at any time.
All the men at Mlljtary Dlstrlct and piping, and workroom machinery
Area Headauarters were detalled to Held by Cubles
help at the hre and two englnea were littering the basements. Yesterday afternoon, this was
brought from Bumham to the ciw. A Great baulks of charred ti~uher.a pinned back to remaining steel flwr
n engine from Wigram was - a h foot or more square, and between loists with wire ropes, and to-day
brought In m d mem- ot the Air thirty and forty feet long, and steel was declared to be safe. The 0amal.u
Force assisted thb City Fire Brigade. girders weighing several tons, were stone and brick structure may be
Naval ratrn#s helped with the dm wrench& out of the wreckage this felled at the week-end. The cashel
hoses throughout the Are. morning, to clear the way for corn- Street frontage, though bulging a
h l b m t n 1 Amlstance
. pletion of the search. foot out of plumb at its centre, is
Men from every Army establishment deemed to be reasonably safe.
With a big Army crane used as a
nrnt Chrlrtehurch. airmen
Wigram and sailors and Royal Marines
from Although the overhead
winch from Colombo Street, the cables were in place yesterday power after-
from the two warshlps in Lyttelton wreckage was- pulled out into the noon, trams were not able to run
were foremost among the willing roadway from the main entrance the building this morning
he1 rs at the nre ycsterdq afternoon block', on the corner of Cashel and use of the salvage operations.
a n r l a s t evening. A great tribute. (o Colombo Streets. Late yesterday afternoon. the
their wbrk was aid by the su
tendent of .the R r e B r i p d e
~ n dthe rupe$intCndent of
Chunks of masonry, roofing iron, strong-room door, perched high up
twisted piping, and a-rted debris on a wall visible from Colombo
crashed down as the heavy beams Skeet, was prized o n by hydraulic
police t jlr H ~ c o t t ) .
. -me dear. k n d flmr joirw jacks and heavy tlmgrs. As soon as
Sailors ltom the ~ e l l o n a and the At- rafters, and other materials from air Was admitted, the oven-hot
butur who were on leave- in Christ-
the upper part of the block had interior burst into flames. Firemen
church m a ~ n h ~ n e d tradition of the
British Nnvy in bein the first to help
in. n r .
P a x tossed their
]ackets on t o l h e footpa s and run*
failen on to the hearlet beams s u p
porting the first floor. q U ~ ~ k I ~ ~ -meone ct~
might have taken refuge in the
Searchers were ready to comb this strong-room, but h i s was not h e
~ M ~ ~ ~
to the ami$tance of fitemm. handlmg section of the building yesterday case.
the hdrs, while others helped the afternoon. but It was deemed unsafe
police lo canlral the crowds. until the precariously-balanced t o p The Staf-SUn. NOW 1947. p.3. 20,
The Press, N w 19. 1947. p.8-
o hamper had been removed. Some
of the big baulks of timber had fallen
at an angle. and it was feared U~ar
Strict Control for
TELEPHONE EXCHANGB Trnfic in City
OVERLOADED Strict supervision of trafic in the
A few minutes after the fire at area affected by the fire will be
Ballantync's store slartcd p t e r d a y . nlaintainecl until the restoration of
telephone I i w throughout the city the lights at the intersection of
were p.mlyned u lbe maxrmum num- Colombo ancl Cashel Streets nlakes
ber of a& the centnl exchange can possible tlie. re-establishment of a
handle was reached. By 4.30 p.m. it nornlal flow. Since the outlweenk
was lmporribk to make r telephone trafic has not lleen allowed in
ofReer and It was
a l l from most c i t ~ Cashel Street between Oxford Ter-
not until 5.30 p.m. that the volume~of race ancl High Street, nor in
calls nrched a normal site: - POIICQ Colombo Street between Herefolrl
olllcrra officiab. and business m a and Lichfield Streets.
from buildings hear the fim yere em- A s diversion of transport is
b a r e d thmughout thls llme by necessaly, double-banked parking in
being d e ~ r i w d the Use of the tele-
of HerePord and Lichfield Streets, and
phone when it was most needed. in Manchester Street helween
Armagli Street and h l w r h a ~ ~ s e
Avenue, will be strictly prohibited.
The Press, N w 19. 1947. p.8.
The Star-Sun. Now 19, 1947. p. 1.
Other Buildings Threatened ,
Whitcornbe's building, opposite the W m fn Caahel Street. -1-
Ballantynes in Cashel S r e ,wan a t la
tet with a roar a t 5.3U p.m.
WUtlteer E . hdped tbe regu-
One time to be allght from
lar firemen, and 'at %e peak d the
cinders. Just when the situation b b , when thirty la&
NOT TO VISIT
looked critical, the wind shiited from were pum ing 8000 gallone of water
south-west to euf and the danger a minute &to th= fire d l round the THE MORGUE
passed. block, upwards of 200 men were Because there is not the slightest
Hundreds of pound. worth of e & f chance of any of the bodies belng
damage was done to ~ l a t e g l m and n g&theirto the &in .nd bone-wea,,, identified, officials and one parent
other windows in buildings facing from great. mlelling task of holding thL morning appealed to relatives
Ballantynes. Many of the ground- the of these men lets Of -tooh tw*hour
Of the missing people to refrain
from visiting the morgue at the
floor display windows and f i ~ f i o t ~ r , dueunder the most C?ristchurch Publlc Hos ital.
tea-mom windowe in Beaths were 'pelk Of
There is no possibi[ty of h e
cracked, and one of the display win. Agonus in condition& Volunteers. bodies being re- ised. said the
dews in Hannah's shoe in working ruined civllian clothe.
gthologist at the gristchurch Pub-
shivering in the evening chill
Cashel streetcould not withetand stood being relieved. Later, arrange
after c Hospital (Dr A B. Pearson). In
the heat his request to the peo le not to view
were made for
Efforta to sm the &e spreading mentses of clothing. the men to get the bodies he was qoined by the
w e s t w h in &)C1 street were *? Po ce, beaides keeping the curl- Medical Su intendent (Dr k D.
e f f d v e , although the walls of .Mr n r
Nelson) a the chairman of the
~~ ChrtJs's shop were m~ check, had to cope with dl,
Hospital Committee (Sir Hugh
and fires who were -king
to relatives peoplehad either worked In
ia the or were thought to have been CUE- These sentiments were reiterated
shop. turners In the 8tore. by the District Coroner (Mr H. P.
Of the valuable stoJE ~twas not until the !ire started to Lawry) and the Superlateadent d
removed from Bate6'e and w e n to die down, about 630 m that the .,
. Police (Mr H. Scott).
safe keping opWte. f l horror of the Bre &acPme o p ~ r -
ul Only one parent went through the
It wae in the ~ u t h - w e s tCorn= ent haserr &u playing on morgue this mom He was Mr
of the block, where Ballantynee of *bers, a Robert Hayman, of?#; Mayfield Ave-
aaoined tpe P - of E m* p o r n e n t a d the hd to
Limited, m m o W m and b d e p for the fire's gctima
.SX nue, whose daughter was among the
sons, Ltd., engineers, that the fir* ~~r P. C. Eelton, Senior-
men were less 8 u d u l . Here, sergeant G. Taylor, and two con-
After viewing the bodies most
easily recognisecl, 1 agree that
fightine amidst a maze. of murow stables went into the ruins midway is t
icle~~tlflcallun o : of the
alleyways, and up r e c i p i t o ~lad- a10 the Colombo Street frontage. tfon," he said. I would a8:z
demays to e s . 8 e i r job Th~orrifying evidence was plain to people not to go there, and to spare
made hazardous as well as difawt them that many had dfed in sight of themselves from a most harrowing
With the Ere breaking SO rapidly. the street as the tried to escape ex rience."
the firemen who tackled this job from the main arts. %e total number of bodlea in the
literally took their lives in their Though their search could extend morgue early this morning was
hands. At one atage, it appeared as little beyond the fringes of the build- thirty-four, five having been brought
if the fire would break into And* ing, they eaW enough to give an in early o . Two hearses were being
son's pattern shop. but a brick waIl early rt indicating the rnagni- used.
and c o p i m drenching8 fmm hoses M e o f y e dlluta.. r
M Lawry mid that he did not
kept the fire at bay. Aa darkness fell. e m e r g e n ~ U h t think that it would be posslble to
Reece's were not lo fortunate. for ing was slung amma Colom and make any definite decision regarding
here, the dividing' wall collapsed Cashel Streets, and the grim task of the inquests until the full extent of
and the fire broke i n b the ground ext~'Icp the burned waa begun. the tragedy had been ascertained. It
floor of the shop, doing extensive The Ak&mwere*ento&emr- seemed that they would have to wait
damage to the spMts departmanf gue. and see if the number of bodies
An upstair6 ofaee was damaged by Firemen continued to hose the recovered tallled with the number of
w e t s an firemen broke through it wreckage, and a t 830 It wae declded. people posted an missing.
to flood adjoining roofs.
m e 1 s t sonion of -ntpa
roof, that over the water0 prt of apaJioar
in view of the
atme . ~ d a er o further falb
me U h L
to c a m r r a v The Star-Sun, Nov 19. 1947. p.3.
The Star-Sun. Nov 19, 1947. p.4.
Lights in BalZantyne9s A Lucky Girl
Failed, But Assistants To be Late
P.A. WFllrMNGTON, Thin Day.
It e o m e t i m ~ pnya to be
Continued Their Duties nnpnnctnal as Miss Maw
\Vootton of Christchnrcb (" M 9
A second after the passenger lift fnoon they had cbaoer, Ball8nWm'a Tnenday afternwn. It
i the front of Ballantgne's store A s they walked out of the tearooms
n learned in Welllnj$on that lfiar
stopped at the ground floor on the they remarked on the presence o f \Footton had made an a p w i n t
afternoon of the 6re. there was a smoke. which seemed t be corn*-
o ment for n fitting a t Balkawnen
loud repom and the lights in the from the furpishing departmeni just store nbont 4 pm. on Tuesday.
building went out, said one of the off the 1PndIng at the top of the Had 811s been a little earlier
four women who were in the lift m statrs. incrteacl of fire minutes lab the
its last run. mnseqneneerr might have hccn
"It w s strange that people were
a serionw. Aa it was she arrived te
Before she left the lift she said Rnd the store in flamccr
to the 1st operator.- YOU
a fire gpayA
~,"Bsa~~@we~~W RnlIantynrt~had been making
was a fire in the building and went a three-piece ensemble, !belr
H s reply w m " Yes, it's don-
i J-ight for the People were gift to lllns New !@ahad.
below. The 5re brigade i outside.'
s dll going into the mms hen."
--- the woman-walked from the
As -- ---- -. - -~
lift, smoke from the upper floors
was filtering down to the ground The Star-Sun, Nov 20. 1947. p.3.
floor. Shop assistants were still at The Star-Sun. Nov 20. 1947. 0.3.
the counters serving customers
Every month. this woman and
three of her friends met in town for
afternoon tea,and on Tuesday after-
Above: Jets are brought to bear on the Colombo Below: Fireman and helpers brave the intense heat
Street frontage. f i e Tilling-Stevens ladder can be seen in an effort to contain this fire.
at leh. (R. Stokes) (R. Stokes)
Phi-, M. A k y s ready. New Zealand Fire SeNioe, 1985. p.80.
Recovery of 39 Bodies
Government to Set
SEARCH T O CONTINUE U p Commission to
Searchem amongd the rabble and twisted w n c h g e of Enquire into Fire
B8lhnlyne's building ymterday recovered tbe chnrd ndar mrlhmenw m a .
WELLSINGTON. This Day.
of mother 11 vietim of the dbn6trous Bra on Tuesday d r k- The Gpvernment is to set up a
noon. The total number of bodicll recorned b 39, bringing commission to make a full invest~ga-
the death-roll t 40, na a young woman d i d in Looplid on
o tion into the whole of the circum-
Tocsday night from lnjurla rbe received when rhe jumped stances of the tragic fire in Christ-
from a Lhirdstorq window. church on Tuesday. This was
announced in the House of Repre
Forly-one punon8 u e Uskd as mirring, .nd of thew 19 u s seatatives yesterday by the Minister
deflnile. The other c a m art ancbcdred, of Internal Afiairrr (the Hon W. E.
Parry), who said that the comrnls-
The building n not considered mfe for sun he^ yeste-
u sion would be given all the powers
necessary for a complete investiga-
day morning, and a conference of engIncul decided that p.rL tion of the whole matter
of the building fronting Colombo rlmt rhoold be dcmolimhtd. The normal provisions'of the Fire
Nter demolition work WM flnbhed the starch continued until Brigades Act, 1926, empowering the
duk. Christchurch Fire Board to arrange
a coronial investigation did not'
A 1Yl[o body of mldiers, under the command of Lleutemnt- altogether suit the circumstances of
Colonel F. L. Davlea, did most of the clearla& mrching work
and this case in view of its magnitude.
~ t ~ ~ t e r dand*they were kept on the job uaUI midnight They
ay and for that reason the Government
worked In relay8 on the s t r o n p o m , entry to wbich was forced had decided to make it the subject
dutlng the afternoon. The strongroom door WM. buckled, and of a full investigation by the com-
mission, added Mr Parry. He would
8 hydraulic jack WM u d to f o r e an entrl; Rccorlis and ma- take an early opportunity during
chlnm were in good condition, but the Lent c a u d a small O U ~ the next few days of announcing
break of Brq and mine papem were churtd. Water Wm further particulars' concerning the
played on the drongroom, and late hrt night the wnknta h d commission.
been removed by the soldiers.
The Star-Sun, N o w 20, 1947. p.3.
At one time it was Utought that them d g h t be wme per-
eons who had taken refuge i lhe Itraagrwm, but no bodies
Few firemen were on duty at UO bulIdImg yastaaday after-
I Tragedy Dims
noon and laat eviming. but the brjg8de did not m1.a lla well-
emmid test, as engina had t be n n t t three a U r Soldiem
manned hosce and plryed water on tbr mnorldcrhrg minr, while
Clly Council and Public W o r b DcpPvtnnat a n p l o e l c a d
8w8y the rubble 60 that the police could continue b e l r wucb.
Joy and enthusiamn over W
Sixty soldiers today .rill caopemh with the police In 8 wedding of Princess Elizabeth has
thorough much of the building 1 an a l e a v o u b and 811 tb.
. been completely overshadowed by
bodicr so that an iaqwrt cm be hcld the city's - s
u fire on Tues-
h m w m y Boud workmen were bPrf mpl.ela(c overhad The Gpvernment has d e d e d that
nlm lrst ereniag, and etrtet Eght9 wem bundog on the d there W be no celebrat~ons and
rMe of Colombo slmt. The City
raid yesterday Uut. it mhht k
through Colombo $freet today.
s emr (rur B elemam)
k for tnmn k m
with some official exceptions, the
flags of the city were to-day flown
Normally, Government buildilys
would have been draped with bunt-
T h u g b e e t Lbr dry l u g e crolrrdr anembled at d the eorc
l ing and strings of flags, but in
door. Even when there w u hmvy rrlr krt n u t , and whcir deference to the atmosphere of grief
Lm w llttls that comld k wro crept tbs ryr o I#och-
h m f only single flags will be flown. As
ligblr, the crow& rtryed 80 tbs the Government ofecially represents
the Crown, these will be a t full
Tlw M W r of Labour (Mr A 1Mcfiy.b) d tha Isdrr mast
of the0p)oaltior (MrS.G.Bollrad) madrarpscLl.Irjoafw Interest in the Royal wedding has
to Clvbtehurcb patdy. They rLltrd tk ud mw been greatly reduced, and one
woman said today that she had
hb d k of d - mad M c d 8 heard only one person make w
trttrm of the Oorcrrmmt 4eptmmW rl Lha C& reference to it, even to listening to
CoudL the wedding broadcaqt
The Dean of Chr~stchu~ch (the
The Press, M v 20, 1947. p.6. Very Rev A. K Warren). said that
the bellringers of the Christchurch
!Cathedral had made q g e m e n t s
to ring a peel in celebrat~onof the
wedding. This was to have' been
recorded for r$.bmadcasting, put in
view of the uty's tracedv. ~t had
Churches have offered
prayers, and at the D u r h a m e z
Methodist Church a swcial in-
cessory period was ohrgkvedat a
farewell to D Irving Bensoa of
" I do not think the people 9
wen thlnk~ngabout t h ~ weddmg.
was another opinion The great
tragedy of the fire has over-
The Star-Sun, Nov 20, 1947. p.3.
C C FUNERAL IN
M SAFETY ROPES
Sir.-In replying to. the letter writ-
ten b~ John L . Chcckley . in. 'The
P r e ~thla momin I would llke to
say that his idea oFropes as a safety
meamre m a y be'alr right in theory.
I war a nurse in training at the Nel-
son Hospital when our nurses' home
Burial of 41 Victims of Fire r
was destroyed by ! on the morning
of October 31. 1038. Each nurse hhd
% i r e e8cape in her bedroom. stapled
the Boor. which only had to be
thrown out' of her window. How-
ever, this wer not' ractical as the
SERVICES AT CATHEDRAL AND fire commenced In &
the upper storey. windows, being
directw above the ground floor win-
dowa did not rmit of one ladder
being used. Eany . were injured
jumping for their lives. I wonder
why &me of the btors at Tucs-
C h r W n c hF y .tkrnmn meamed the 41 victim6 tire
daym& did nat r v e the presence
of mind to obtaln mattrearcs or strong
of the bm whleb the rac-bloelr, of J. R.tlmtyne and sheets from the store opposite?-
~ - - --
Comp.ny, Ltd, k t w h u t 1000 5utd the Cathedm1 Yours. etc.,
fn tbe heart of tbe city, m a y handkds outdde joined i n CAROL RALPH4MITH.
November 21, 1047..
aad d rlom the three-mlle route of the fan-1
P m o r to tha Ram Urn Cemekry thoarands h d -
P ~ p l ein homa d over New Zedand htened t the radio
l o The Press, M v 24, 1947. p.2.
It WIUI probably the great& crowd tver amembled in BALLANZIYNE'S
~ b a r c bthe only eompurble numbers gathering on a very
differed occdon: celebmUon of rlctoq in the Second World
War. Teeterday a grut hash damndad on the city. The
PeopJe'~mood expnacd not only g l e f bat rlro respect for the
dead nnd aym* with the bereaved. DEMOLITION WORK
h wao r dtyh tribuk to &om who had been their ftllorrs
ind had worked for a firm whom M i t b m were almost an old -
am the community which mourned. GOODS SALVAGED FlWM
The Press, M v 24, 1947. p.6. BASEMENTS
DemoUtion work at Ballanlyne'~
bullding w u continued yesterday ac-
eordinl to the plan prepared by the
contractor and engineers. Large blocks
of masonry from the top pwt of the
bullding fronting Colombo streel were
lorded on to lorrlea by thc Army's big
Men worked all da salvaging g w d s
from buemcnta. a d some o the f
rrtlcles recovered dppesrcd to be only
rll htly damaged by nrc and water.
sob. of carpett, ru s and llnoleum
were amongst (he odt and
t h m waa a .quantity o p b r t ~ e r e d
meWwur to r. Eleetrlcd aqulp-
ment and worftmm nuchi- rere
a h recovered.
A mectlng of the B ~ A K Eallan-
t no's wu held mterdsy morning. but
b b u i n u Lusmed waB1not dis-
c l d . A dlrrctor of the Rrm (Mr R
p H yeatdby ritemoon.
me press, MV 1947. p.6.
King, M. Merlhewar. WIsonandHwlbn, 1M.p.33.
VOL. V., NO. 12 AUCKLAND, WEDNEIDAY, NOVEYBER ¶& lM7 PRICE
FE TRAGEDY MUST NOT BE REPEATED
DANGEROUS POSITION LAID BARE
NOW Zsalnnd muma at thr chrbtohuroh nn t r m w y h rrhieh
so many I l v a worm out on k tho d b a t w Y BallnntJm'r d r a w
To tha n l m l l v r and frlmda of tho unfutunrto #rplo who l o t
lhair Ilvel. the. "PI.plm's V0loo9' oxtmbl It1 a-I gmpalhy.
I t fecln, hnrevrr. that ~ p a t h jin inulagnala nnd that it u
--nrJ to tnke practical and immediate memmra t n minimire tho.
p-~silrility much a traguly happrning .gain. I t is 6re yenn r i m
the trrrihle tragedy at the Seacliff Mental Honpit.1 i n u h i h many
lost their liven. ntem' ia no muon, unfnrtunatslj, for eonficlenos that
motllqv anclr t r i y d y nr that which m m r d a t Ilnllant~lre'a miaht
not oorttr ngnitt i n eomu p t of New 7aaland at any time.
MANY DEATH-TRAPS EXIST out that *era. wera no - .p
Enqniries and obaerrrtionm m d s l e d i n g from tbe windows hdag
h the "Penple'n Voiw" raal QIIrcn street. A 6imil.r pDdtba
Wt an extremely dnnpmoa pod- eximta elmwhom. I n 8ome d:tbemn
cues it m a o b r i o ~ that- lfrw
ion rxirta i n the c i t m of New
\fnny large a t o m and
am undnh mbis-
to fire 4r&rd and, i n ;he event
1 m&t be lomt on a lals o ~ m p r . b l .
o= r - t h at Bdhtmo'r
WhYo thr-U l t m t Ou~*n Ur
w,firs breaking nut, souhl be death- I tk. Mldh d nndrn
Rp.. The "People's Voiw" dom rtrutur .Wlth.ul
~ d l0 t h ~
l uoh , ~ c r u r .
t l y of the older type.
Tha dmgr b p r t l o v l u l y & t o
b.oldmr buMClp rhW m. nrt COYMl88lON NU87 mE'
I t aoprdhg ta thr m r t l ml EFiEOTlVE
madm h el r r*Y
. l* It . m e mmmirion of onqnirf rhieb
krprutlmblm l a all thu h u b a n p d d by tho Hen. K.
&Wlnu, but 11 I# ~ r tkt ~ Pury r l doobCLu w tbomuhb
k il tk.. ..
L. l r iha 1 * . W a t
ln f nm d M m r r aatablblmnent . '4. llllvllrw
mi m . I
Yk owld bm drw,.m ln thu into tho drauliut.ncea mrraadiaa . 1 1 Om., OMI#n*, nbm w
(1 Urr w u o t n t In a d*rrtrow (n R u l o n r Y I -0
l . that,
Lllr b u l l d m ta M rbh
. tbs d m a t BeUantynm's, ud th. ' r I l , r ~ I t k l r , ~ W ~ t h m m o l I * c r w p thu fra1.p.
r m Or w(lrk r ,
Ilbnd.nt m an. "Peqls'a ,Vaico" d m not rirh b -ma.. ((:ra.n I I Hnl~n,
I I ~ plobgrnph)
p n c j d p tho b u s . Ths rhola MI.
RE EICAPEI LACKIWO tion d Qn hurrrl, h o w , u
French Workers Fight !:-:
Fascism's New Threat
LONDON.-WNIO ~rtmanme 0 t h Wall S t r n t o o l b r ~ m a try.
la through the Manhall plan l o buY up EUmm. th. Fnnck mnd,
IWien Cmmntl have Inur*(nd M 8ttaOk an Ihr b M s unlmn,
o a m n m b t ~ a r l l uDM .tkr rganballarr &oh . , b wanno-
- Anckhnd.. It ru pointad , The rbop udstsntm* unioru, tho I n M A m H r W. PUW. tho* M t r h ' kd.pnd*ra.
ltramb mgmiout'U~r NaG.. are hitting bnrL ill s wave nf strikia and
ton .TurnsTables np
d.mwntratiana greater tllnn s ~ ~ y t l ~ itheir rutlr~tritr llwe known
On bb&tandard9? '
Th. Pmnrh mactiutr I*.g.~r its nit11 n aenre atc~rya b ~ ~the "HcJ."
o h l u i r s r i t b the am-st and savorre l t l v t t i ~ ~LIB att.?ck Yrtu~ro.
ip.' On the 0 t h
'How to Vot. c m
' ) . cumat. but . r ;itb tho
Y.Ja, Mr. A
- ARC08 RAID RECALLED
-* --' r m h t tho Sowlot unlonn-
'Communist Ea- w , when h rid:
am the m r ~ l ' l " ' ~
I . L.bollr a lb
b mi - i Welli-
n fmA m n h amd dm h i n 7 ,
l yhn ~tntlernti~~alb>.mr,cs'"a 'Idencw
*l ll u
dlr l l
In IMU,d k ~ w i traitor 1 pnerlL
atm~for tb.lbm~h ~ ~ d ~i in *tm.bh-
open the gatas t o t!te . Ng*a and
la anonymhs t o t '
ih. me Fnna. appointnl Petais on ' vicl-Pmmisr*
t The cunp ru being mainhind frnm d r k h pariLion Ite ,
Yr. =. f"
in paria, by b e n t with (hr WL.fi the
... . I-.'*
I mi '- hd &-men%
I rr l
nt %-in+ V
1 1 ~ o.nlli:
t - 8a. I
Luck - rather than good man- it k unlikely that a fire the size "For some reason flre evokes The 1947 fire led to a reorgan-
agement - has probably spared of the BalJaatyne's blaze would all sorts of emotions on (stand- isation of the service. with big
Christchurch a repeat disaster on occur in a sbop built to toda}*S ards) committees, and they can't improvements in equipment
the scale of the Ballantyne's fire. by-law requirements. make any progress" communications, training and
The city's buildings engineer. Sprinkles, emergency lighting Bryan Bluck says policing of MmZ.
Bryan Bluck, says by-laws relat- and fire alarms are required in fire safety by-laws is a joke. h y fire in the central city k
ing to fire prevention in old all new shops 1 -
than 1000 Mw managers a d rrsponsibly. now attended by at least
buildings are not much more square metres Evacuation but others are cavalier. Local pumps, a s o r r e l (hydraulically-
effective now than they were in schemes have to be designed for authorities have few powen t o raised platform), a turntable lad-.
1947. shops larger than 400 square make people adopt proper house- der and an emergency tender.
After the Ballantyne's fire. metres, and evacuation drills keeping.
tougher regulations were intro- have to be held every a- "I could take you to a restau-
duced to cover the construction months. rant where the exitway k
of new buildings, and provision But he agrees there k a cluttered with food cases and
of fire escapes. potential problem with older e p y boxes f o the kitchen. Ii
But the by-laws were not made buildings. it was in a place llke New York,
retrospective. Most of the build- "A Ballantyne's fire in a prc- he (me owner) would be closed
ings constructed before intmduc- 1963 building k still quite a doI4n."
tion of the 1963 standard by-law possibility ... The Ballantyne's He says courts tend to take the
(an amended version of which is (type of buil-) of the 1940~ view that local authorities are
still in force today) are exempt s
stin exkt because there i no pichtag 00 people
Bryan Bluck says redevelop rrqulrement to upgrade them-" "Our prlme concern tr people
ment has helped Seventy per Brysa Bluck says the 1963 by- .safety. Yet the by-lawa do not
cent of the floor space in central laws are badly written. afihaic W u d e maintenance and house-
Chdstchurch has been replaced and ambiguous keeping prmrfsions which allow
the ls 40 yeas, and many
at "It is a shoddy le@ docn- us to make surt cgns (exit)
buildings similar to the old Bal- ment now on ~ t seighteenth nays are not blocked by apple
lantyne's store have been pulled amendment It would need an- boxes We are toothlesn"
down other 80 (amendments) until re The most significant advance-
Mod modern b u i l m are bet- have a decent legal document" ment since the Ballantyne's
t r designed, and have sprinkler
e me CluisIchurch aQCoundl disaster. apart from the wide-
has lobbied unsuccesfully for spread use of sprinuerg Is the
=church's senior in what it sees as increased efficiency of the fire
safety officer. John Sinclair, says changes to the regulstiom. service.
The Press, N o w 18, 1987. p.2
Yfl# c o m m i n h raean-
Debate ~ . a r e L r m c o f
There was extensive m,eumiartlas
debate about tbe cludflcation. and p m
of an electrical F b i lor t a
ault i motha be Wtated for
rarelessly discarded match .fireown and officers,
or cigarette causing the sod that a aupauma- O n the latter date Mr Watson's o w n i n g address was d e v w t i n g .
fire. Uarrekmckrtrpfff d
He p ~ i n t out tllatempbyees. with several notable exceptions, had
-0lbripda quite failed to a p p m i a t e their danger. I l e cited rases a f some who
The commission found it
impossible. in view of tbt had see11 smoke, had become aware that there was lire, ancl h ; ~ l
experl evidence, to deter- calmly continued to their comfortable afternoon tea venue before
mine whetber an electrical returning to their respective departments; and of others who, being
fault was Ute cause of She
fire with any degree of warned to leave the premises by their respective foremen o r
certainly. It a h found latl ~
forcwon~en, failetl to d o so for a n~nsiderible i n ~an11 in m*tlle e,
there w a a no etridcnec to cases had returned to their quarters to recover possessurns rendeml
suppat any Y
thc fire may ve origi-
nated from clynttc anwk- .
tiivial by the developing circumstances. Some of the victims had
been seen to be standing at windows. seemingly unaware of the
horror that was even then besieging them.
H e drew attention to and criticised the delay in calling the Fire
Brigade, to the fact that the only fire escape was blocked so early Iy )
smoke, to the absence of alarm bells within the builditlg and of any
sprinkler system and of any co-ordinated evacuation methods. He
Tbe - oe event- . then referred to many of those sequences of events which have
ually rrcaamcdcd: r
M Paul Molineux, already been described in this book.
.That the standubr m- at present Director One of the first witnesses was a Mr Keith Owen Smith, who hat1
tute'a Means of of the Seci~rity been the only person in the cellar prior to the diiovery of the fire.
codebemrdecom 1- Intelligence Service,
L who, as a young law
Because he had left the premises to visit a nearby shop for a talk and
a smoke. h e was questioned extensively. His interrogation included
Ul'he immediate imt.lIa- clerk in 1947, reference to thedeception of hisemployer by his act and its purpose.
tian o f i i prevention
f helped rescue and t the fact that he had ignored the arrival of the fire engines in
devices and .Iprrrrs in people from the order to pmlong hi dengagement. H e was accused by legal
large buiWag burning building. counsel of leaving his a l l a r post unprotected. That he had left the
.That evacuatian drllla be
cellar was certainly true. but Mr Smith had never heen e~nployml to
&de2~L!alad and tbeir aalaries ~b
Iprcucct the cullar. ' l l ~ e r eis n o c l o ~ tllat if he lratl rcln;~ilirulill tllr
standards m t u t t be sdjusttd.
cellar the lire woultl llave been discovered IIIUCII earlier. H e told the
given facilities to am- Rut Ibe moat important
ylaw and Lbrt It be
iQ Fi ReventiOD
result W i U h -MI
bdgbteniog of fire ~wrr-
ciousaeg in New Zealand.
G>mmissimn that, altho~tgh was a smoker. he woultl never have
smoked in the cellar because of the amount of combustible ~naterial
which was stored in it, and further credibility is atldetl to his
thmlght New w d an Tbc commiaaiat found statement by hi action in leaving the cellar in order to smoke a
w i t h i n three m n of
oW that tkte did not exist, cigarette.
into force. eiUwiathelaymindortbt
LIsioarl m n .in New
land generally, pa ad+
h New z e ~l a d quateLnmledgeanduadet-
a W a e r , G. G. The BsDWanZynes' fire dkster.
andbekoryMvdartk Gordon G. Walker, 1983.p. 43-44.
control o c a m h b n - ad""""
The Sar, Dec 30. 1982. p.4.
Sir, - Regarding -M. I. Maw-
8 of Dmmbtr 31: Ionin
a *ttm in BallantyneDs b afin uf
memory they wlll bave to live with
for the r a t of their daya Tbe
tm@c went will never be f - m
tea by those wbo l a t family a
lrkads (and I l a t two frlcnb . Thc
th* ~ l G. O. d a k m
" b o p to make money oat of
others' mhfortune" Is complettly
ort of charrctct wlth thlr mm,
who lr kind, generow to a fault and
8 very bappy -
stature anti m i 1 feel tbe pint
of tbe book la to vlndlcrk tbe
DISASTER firemen of the day. Mr Walker Is
hrrdly llkel to beromc 8 milUon-
aim W I ~ k pb~ieatiim, r I,
wlth all due mpect to hlm, fail to
ac it becoming a bent rller. It b
r valuable inkmting reference
MOW AVAILABLE FOR $24 book, with a vim to this terrible
ot the ARMAGH ST BOOKSHOPS Lngedy nev& recurring. - Yours,
VALMAI I. HERN.
166 and 1'92 Armagh Street Janwry 1, 1084.
a d the Ferrymead Historical
Museum Sir,-l wbb to Ulank Mr C. C .
Walker for h b enllghtenmmt on
N Z ~ ~ P l o d u c t a Uc hllantyne's fire. Thls type d
'40 stlwut st book mtmt take mm houri of
P.O. Box C Chch.
1n me.* a d "e a d * not the
typ of book to bring In great
tbb day rad yc there a n dlll
people who are willing to give ao
The Press, Dec 28, 1983. mreLdtbdrlcLwtlme(oklng
knorrfng tbb wlll not happen again
and that Cooenunent or Royal
cammhhm can no longer cover
up the h t h . 8nd ow firemen wlll
Ballantyne's fire no lmgu have the blame laid at
book W r feet u was the ease of Mr
Bumma. Many people ma f e i
Sir.-As a sister of one of t h r 41 rmr having the fa* ~ a d b r e .
victims who rished in Ballan- b.1 we know that the i n t s t y 01
tyne's fire on ovember 10. 1947. I
am very distressed to see a size-
flnmcn will now be gun
lived a d property better
able advertisement in "The Press" 8.rhg read the book
W a y for a book on the disaster by Whlker. h a great fwllngs for ail
tbe famlliw Involved.-Yarn, etc.,
G. G. Walker. Who Ls he that he BRENDA SMITH.
hopes to make money out of others' Dmmber 30, 1983.
misfortune? All that had to be
written was recorded in the news-
papers a t the time, and for the
many months of anguish relatives The Press. Jan 7. 1984. p. 12.
suffered while the commission of
inquiry was heid afterwards. Some
mothers never recovered f m the
shock and grief and no relative
wants to be reminded of that
terrible day when their lwed ones
did not come home from work.-
M. I. MAWSON.
Decrmber 28, 1983.
The Press, Dec 31, 1983. p. 12.
after fire dkacter
Omlaow grey skies and a cool
easterly ntnd greeted ChrW-
By GEOFF MEIN
~ O U of smoke hundreds of
wtm high carried Of
church residents on the mornlug
of November 18. 1947.
The 432 staff of J. Ballantyne
and -pay, Ltd. prepared for
- burning material lnta the
easterly bmoe: p- i of burnt
paper were found as far away aS
another busy day. Every depart-
ment was fully stocked for
Christmas. just five weeks away.
Cause a mystery Men from fnclaries shops and
offlees In the ceotral d r Iolntd
the nremen m a d n g hose5 In
the streets. Their nambus rm
Keith Smith spent most of the The u c of the B.lhtyoe*sflre rcmalu a mystery.
day shifting vacuum cleaners In Two main theories were advaoeed: that 8 match or w e d by soidkr% airmen and
a basement furniture storemom. burning cigarette ru carelessly tbmm doan, setting vlsiring sallom, and all but two o f
He went to afternoon tea In the fire to materld In the b.nmeag or th8t an elceMc the poUcemen on duty at the
skiff cafeteria at about 3.30 p.m. cable whlcb ram tmm the Hml floor Into and Uwoagh central polla StaUoa
Instead of retumlng to the t h basement w r r deiectlvu
~ I Crowds surged down Cashel
basement after his tea break, he
went to a drapery store on
Colombo Street for a qulck
A Royal Commldon .ct mp to lavcalgate the lire
femd ae coacldve evidence t e support elther tk.ry.
It accepted Kelth Smith's c l 8 h that he maw nr s i p of
Nov 1s; 1947 .1 and Colombo .Weds to within 30
metres of the I n t c ~ e d o n
belng drlven back by the heat
smoke. He heard the sireas of englaes a n l v l q La Cashel
paalag fire engines, but took no
llrc when be left the m a t for aftemom t e 4 .nd attempb to place Ladders S t m t were w n U o lmpded ~
notice of them. that be never rmeked m tk p r e a the tep storey rlDdw rbem by the aadOILI throcyp: st me
Whlle Kelth Smlth was havlng The commlrrlon d l 4 k w w e r . fl.d that swarrl people were sUll hpped, but stage, when part of the bulldlng
alternoon tea, the roman In facton helped the Hre .prud. they were beaten b c k by flcm rascrpecttdtoww,ebase
charge of Bnllnntyne's approval Mod 01 the nwrs were made e t tbaber. CcllInp m d llg~l smoke .adterrific heat
office. Edlth Drake. noticed a w d l Unlap r a made eI soft tlbrckud,m n m h Bmbnden ratched la hormr drive them back.
wisp'of smoke ffltvlng lrom the tlmkrfmmed, eftem rith.rt Hrrat There were a-ihree women jumped from By 4.1s pm, ilaws W* e
ba!Xmmt. huge unprotected 0pe.L.p In the b l l r P I " w . ~ ktrrct~
~ rlndors on the second and tUrd the bullding. The roar of above
soarbg more thln 3001the Rrc
She told a salaman. Percy the radow krlldlmp, u d most 01 the m a p d Iloon. ho Wcnped SerlMa Lrt.
Stringer. who grabbed a flre Lltp were not d o s e d . ~thethIrddledInbospltal Md hlP5 of rat- WaY p9aetUated
extinguisher and went to lnrestt- ?be crmmbdm l d that Bahm management MomenL, Inter. 8 director of by the crash of hlllng iroa Md
gate. 'Thick smoke was pllrcLLy dl*firekUI~aotUteP&-~ly the flrm. Ken BallantynC girders. and the aploslon of
fllltng the basement ...then the p.rdbk te warn tbe staff u d p M c of the Cln appeared on a balcony n n a
md large plate glse or
lights failed. Be was forced to
me luc mu 1 the flre b*de dlowed n8mMble
wn m on the top floor. He
swayed tor sevael mlcluta
m c e n of the Salvation Army.
gmea t e ~ ~ t and cthe klc.da fmed to ULc
esrytne uros of tea and pUa of
Confusion relgned for several ctlcctlve8eth.1.ameLtktttcInthc~l@'ml.aer amld slvlPlyl flame$, before 8
mlauts md It was not untll3.46 ilreman reached him. Loud ap sandaricheq qule~y picked thelr
p.m - up to 16 minutes after
smoke was flst seen - that the
after Its urlvd.
It w u erncloded that attempts made to reacac people plause and cheering greeted the
rescue Be was one of the last
way through the taagle of haws
and pools of rater.
Arc brigade called. bappedintkbdldl.g~eredIrwI.drol~~pct~~t pcoprc to leave me buudln8
Two Mglnes were sent to what Iv
.l c crtm*m Md w.8-
WaStho~t0k8arvllb ScoMl m o m later
meat flm r o o m ~ t o l d ~ m a t pmkd Ken Ballanme. rbo
By the time the brlgde u- 00 late. p e n was a lot of A l n U o l n ~ W n v a d rchacd to lave the bull*
oat We M W a d of immortrlity.
smokeatthekgtnnlP(Lb~ma# when he could have dooe ro Tbc dall m evmtuauy refoo-
rived, no gale& emcuuoa d t b e m r L 4 c p r n . r t c r t b e f tbclrltrrr
o r d e r h a d b e c n ~ k~ r d t b e t l r t ~ t b o l y h t U
8 T h c m n p t r l m ~ ahly.Beillskkdolltryfiyto md
as smoke and heat hcmsed, the r a a m l w r f l m b u l o t h e r p u t rrUhna liuoa@ me big Moct r 0 ~ d u p 3 e a l l h t h e o f A c e m Othen were not so lucky, as
beads Of #vW deplutnmtr o f t h e b u U d l n & o r m p h a me
MthlrYmiauta,ImrrbM of Afterbullding 7 h e PIT& reportedt -~
bad told lbclr staff to covw stock bang trrterl to hospital. '?he fear that death had
From the ahtp o the f
Elght yotm(l women Lo the
he re(0rned to tbe Arc to help.
He wllapred again and was *d
e along with the flames
was substantlakd an hour a d
they were amzed to see t b m a o l t b c s e a t d U e m l y m c o r d m d t o f o u O w ~ ( 2 e r taken home, snfferu fmm tlueequartws aRer the flre had
leaplryfmmotherpugofthe ~ b y m e . b s e a c c o d I l m a c * ~ a ~ B y t h e t l m c a h srvwe s h e
- - =m
e ~eportmfrom m e Prns broken ouf when thm bodla
T I Is e m e s of the !\re mr and tbclr Mod mwe haomred
d m the dram8 UniOldhg In
Tor t h e Lo aelghbou*
was the fudture aecnoa dirpky
7 h e m ~ t n d of the dirssler
bY hmtlrrllJaboutlatheLnlern0. struck the Arc fighters *en
:- p thas mln- "m lor ever re- they entered the main entrance
shortly alter 6 p.m. ~ o d ~were
lytng In the smouldering ninS
< k g l d & l ~ a i b eend thQ
b ~ and up on the &eel raftus two
were helpl- Any hopc of bodla ruc h w g
~ r r r a ~ o f d h s r t h l n t h ~ ~ i more thaa an hour. 1 -
who rmed 1lfe by plmplae
t b r a o d y t o o k t h e kap-cr
m a , pollnmen and voln+i
rwkers carried lrmn the n~lm
climblag to aa(CtY. were Boae W the remaim of ehamd bodla
the lime the nre brigade urlved. wmpped in tarpaulW and two
"~hm oone of me exdte- hearses ran a xn3ee to the
wot thal often attrads mnb morgue. The.. .puWZ MPpUY.
rorlrmom-oa the tblrd lloor to a W#j Marc. On all sides there wen roped off.. .Md m W
~rhebcudthefirrayllaa rae apressiom of horror and nothing o the terrible r m r y
s h e ~ t b e m ~ ~ I o r t h e o e c u ~ d M wort" e
lPlldrmoLZaadrwkdto bulldhg mtha than comment
nrmbarorhnata oo the magDitade of the blaze"
As*rbethewkuo&me By 4 p.a~,a huge plume of
pomirlKdSbeIlo(ladm brown smolre had athcted thoa-
colamnY seestam. wumm caught nr& e
m women a o a , l a t o a e l g h m -
dirappeMdLntothe~ll~keawJ W a l a a r r r r b l w g b t t o a
llama. staomu b ud omcar
o t b e r ~ m d a t n n t l c rltllhoblomdtlnm
The Press, M v 18, 1987. p.21.
An artist's drawing
building where the fire is
thought to have begun,
Goodman's building with
the millinery workroom on
the top floor and Pratt's
building where the credit
and accountancy off~ces
Morris, 6. New Zea&nsfs darkest days. W&on and Horton, 1987. p.35.
Blodc of one a m destroyed. A view from the air.
The Press, Nov 2 ,1947. p.5.
Report of Royal Commission.
31. Mr. Nicol, who speaks with undoubted authority, was faced w t the charge
that some fault in the cable er instahtion of electric power was the came of the ht.
Each defect or fault was carefully weighed by him. Without excmbg the fault, he
examined each with met.icnlous care, to ascertain its possible effect. He came to his
conclusion that none of the faults singly, or together, could have c a d the fire. We
are s a t S e d he reached his mnclnsiom not to defend electric energy se a whole, but &u
an expert whose hdings would be scrntinized by able electricel engineers in this
country and beyond it.
He was suppotted by the evidence of other expert witneeses. There was no evidence
in respect of the general electrical installation in the building which would lead to the
belief that this, in any of its parts, was the cause of the fire. It becomes quite clear in
om opinion it is impoesible for us, in view of the expert evidence, to determine that
electric'al fault wss the cause of the fire with any degree of certainty.
3 . We have already stated that there is no evidence, once the alibi of Smith is
m p t e d , that the fire was occasioned by the carelessness of any employee. Indeed,
the evidence showed that Ballantpea strictly enforced this rule against smoking, and
there was no evidence to support any suggestion that the fire may have originated from
such a c w a .
53. We must, therefore, answer the first question by saying that the evidence did
not disclose the cause and origin of the he.
68. It is true that members of the stoff with any degree of authority may have
been under the impreasion that strict observance of stringent rulea againat smoking
and carrying matches rendered fire risk negligible. The action of the directors in failing
to maintain in proper order the automatic Vigilant alarm system, that was a t one time
h l l e d in Pratt's building, is inexplicable after they had been warned by the fr im
which installed it that unlees it were properly maintained they would have to remove
it, and eventually did so. A curious blindneae to fire-riak, aa far as we can see, can alone
explain the failure of the directors to install some warningdevice, a fire-sprinkler sptem,
or some alternative -prevention method, in addition tothe fire-extinguishers on which
sole reliance waa placed.
If the sprinkler system had been in existence, on the reporb which have been sub-
mitted to us, the fire would, in all probability, have been put out in the cellar itself, o r
at least contained there.
Without evaouation drill, without warningdevicee, without advice to employees
on the se to be taken in the event of fire, without an automatic connection with the
ht brigade, and with employees-many of them young women-numbezing some 458,
orderly movement, even communic~tionbetween varioue departments, can hardly
have been expected, and contradictory i n s t m c t i o w m e to stay, some to evacuate-
took the place of efficient order and movement.
59. There is evidence that one of the staff, in a poeition of some authority, advised
female employees to report back to their departments on the upper floors. Such advice
nse given, it is eaid, a t a time when the Bmolre from the fire was spreading through the
6 . There is evidence that some of the employees were so ignorant of the layout of
the premisea that they were unaware of dternative methods of exit from one department
61. It ie quite mde-ndable that, when the h waa firat dieoovered, the
information paaged manally to members of the eteff in various parts of the building
remote from the cellar that them was a fire in one of the cellara would not be unduly
dinturhg, and perhap t&e p.ture of the n m that laded through would induce
amplopm, d i n d e e d themmagas, to* that binoneofthecellua would not
ba m u # .
The volume of smoke, however, coming from the osllu and -ping info the open
air,. upper floors, and adjoining parta of the premises should have warned executive
otliaere within two or three minutea after the a n i d of the fire brigade that the b waa
eerioua and the need for evacuation urgent.
62. In the case of p r e h as large ae thow of Ballantyne'e, involving the employ-
ment of some 458 employees, of whom over 500 were women, it seema clear the provieion
of a number of era should not be the only measure taken to prevent snd
atop the s p r e a d x e mponsibility for this condition of a&.irs lat. on the
controllere and manegers of the baeineaa. The inevitable result wm that, when fire did
break out and showed eigns of developing into a major fire, the exeoutive offi- found
therrmelvea not only without adequate equipment to deal with it, but w t l& of deviotm
.to mun their employee8 of the existence of fire, or a plan to evacunte them h m the
building when it became neceesary. Report of Royal Comrnmssion.New Zealand Padament.
w s to the Journals of the House of Representatives,
1948. w1.V. H-47. pp. 30-31.
Ballantynes fire. 19.
SHORT SUMMART OF FINDINGS
OBDER~ REFBBENCE(1) M (8)
1. We have been unable to find the cause and origin of the fire.
2. In our opinion, all steps reasonably possible, under the circumstPnces then
obtaining, were not taken to warn the staff and the members of the public on the premises
of the existence and seriousneaa of the fire, and that all reasonably possible steps under
the circumetances were not taken to rovide for their safety and escape, h t l y by the
managenrent of Ballantynea and later y the 6re brigade.
3. Special circumstances contributing to the rapid spread of the fue were : -
(a) The very large fire areas with large unprotected vertical and lateral opening6 :
(b) The high lire load in relation to the constrnction of the building :
(c) The late call to the h e brigade which allowed indammable gaaes to accumulate
before the arrival of the brigade :
((1) The fail- of the fire brigade to take effective action to attack the fire in the
first ten minutes after its arrival, thereby alloaing a further accumulation
of dangerous and explosive gases :
(e) The infismmablenature of much of the stock and mft fibre board mawxi throughant
The 6re hazard could have been reduced by-
(i) The imtdation of an autoamtic eprinkler h a l a m aptem :
(ii) An automatic bra-alarm aptam directly connected to the h a t a t i o n :
(iii) The provision of adequate 6redoom :
(iv) The total prohibition of the uae of untreated soft wood fibre board :
(v) The p r o c o n of standpipes throughout the building with hom attached :
(vi) The enclosure of lift-shah and atairwas by amokeatop partitiom.
4. h our opinion, there WM a breach of the Chriatcharch City By-Lwa in so far aa
permits were not obtained for the execution of certain works, such a the making of
openings in interior walls and the uae of soft wood fibre board for partitiom and d
oovering. Inasmuch M no reqaisition was aerved on Maria Bahntynea bp the 6m
brigade, it canno* be aaid that there m a a breach of the Chrhtchurch Fire Boud Fi
Emcapes By-law, 1930. We think the use of soft fibre boud in Bdhtym m a a b r e d
of tha by-law forbidding its nae, and the breach waa not cured by the consent given.
6. h our opinion, the F 4 e a Ad .ad ib r e g u k k o are inadequate in m tr aa
they 6et a standard of protection a
& h e vsry far below that set in standarda approved
by expert opinion and adopted in other countriesrics
We think the Fi Board F s h p m By-lawis aimiluiy defective, and so fu ss
existing buildings are concerned the by-law haa been p r a d d y inoperative, inasmuch
aa it provides that nothing need be done unless the Superintendent of the Brigade,
&r inspection, serves a notice on the owner setting out what he is required to do.
Smce the 1938 amendment of the Mnnicipd Corporrtioy Act, the (%&ah-h
City Council h been in a position to replace the Firs Board's B y - h , but not-
has been done. We believe the Christchurch City By-km are inad uate m d that
the administratioa of the by-laws and regulations has been irregular a n d 3 adminiatered.
There appears to us to be no justification for the Council's over-riding its own by-law
aPd granting permission to Ballantpea t make extendm use of untreated
f i b boud.
We draw attention to the absence of regulations framed to regulate constructioa
in relation to floor areas.
6. We believe the adoption of the New Zealand Standard W e of BuiMir~gBF-
lam, P r VII (Means of Egress), as pre red by the New Z e h d StMdsrds.Institute.
ahodd be nu* compulsory to all bud& in New zI.lu*l.
7. We recommend the instruction of staffs in the principles of fire-prevenkion,
evaauaion drill, and elementary principles of fin-fighting. We advocate that all floors
above ground floor be immediately evacuated on alarm of fire being given.
8. We find that, after arrival a t tbe he, &ere was failure on the p r t of the brigade
ofcem to appreciate the potential danger and take adequate se to meet that
W h d the at- made to reacne those trapped a u f f d from lack of competent
We h d the equipment employed by the combat the h nas, in gened,
d b i e n t nave tht the TiIling-Stevem
Repnf of W m n . New Zealarrd Parb'ament.
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20. Balhntynes fire.
The outer walls appear to be the only part of the building left standing in this view W n g a b q
Cashel street. Photo; S Moon?.
A view of the central area of the building. Little remains except for the brick dividing walls and
twisted iron from the roof.
N.Z. Weekly News,Now 26. 1947.
Ballantynes firc. -
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U 00W010~ 111 I
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