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ballantynes fire facts

In mid-afternoon, when the fire began, an estimated 250–300 people were shopping at Ballantynes, which had a staff of 458. Ballantynes fire, Christchurch. 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. During the afternoon of Tuesday the 18th November, 1947 fire broke out in the cellar of J Ballantyne & Co, a department store on the corner of Colombo and Cashel Streets in Christchurch. A civic funeral service was held in the Anglican Cathedral on 23 November, followed by a mass burial. The pergola that is part of the memorial collapsed in the 2011 Christchurch earthquake but was later rebuilt. The brigade initially thought that the fire was contained to the cellar. CHRISTCHURCH, NEW ZEALAND. Twinkl » New Zealand » Years 4 - 6 » Topics/Themes » Festivals, Celebrations and Events The eight women in the millinery department had delayed leaving, not realising the danger. They landed, injured but alive, on a slate verandah and were rescued by members of the public using a ladder and taken to hospital. 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. The bodies of the 41 victims were buried at Ruru Lawn Cemetery, Bromley, after a civic funeral. In the meantime it took a further 10 minutes for the firefighters to find the source of the fire. Staff were eagerly awaiting a visit from … The department store blaze remains the deadliest fire in New Zealand history, claiming the lives of 41 people. The fire is thought to have started in one of the basements of the Congreves building. Christchurch writer Stevan Eldred-Grigg’s 1993 book Gardens of Fire is … We think the use of soft fibre board in Ballantynes was a breach of the by-law forbidding its use, and the breach was not cured by the consent given. 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. They didn't bring a ladder. Ballantyne Crest: A demi griffin, in the dexter paw a sword erect all proper. When some minutes later the fire brigade had still not arrived, the salesman began to get concerned. It started in the basement of the furniture department, which was located at southern end of the Colombo Street frontage of the complex. The fire brigade officers had not recognised the potential danger of the fire soon enough to act effectively. Map and Info Map and Info 40 people unfortunatly perished while one pregnant woman … It has been noted that office employees were not evacuated as policy required that insured equipment be stored away in a fireproof strong room first. Ballantyne the Brave, a biography of the juvenile fiction writer, Robert Michael Ballantyne; Ballantyne's fire, a disastrous fire in Christchurch, New Zealand in 1947; The Ballantyne Novels, a series of four novels published between 1980 and 1984 by Wilbur Smith; Ballantyne syndrome, a rare disorder affecting pregnant women; Henry Ballantyne and Sons Ltd., Woollen … By now over 200 firefighters using 20 appliances were fighting the blaze, but they were unable to make any headway against the fire. 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. Most of the upper floors were staff work areas, including the dress-making department, and the credit and accounting department. 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. After being named Dunstable House and going through a couple of owners and a couple of buildings as it grew, it was purchased by John Ballantyne in 1872. The women climbed out the window and jumped, landing on a first-floor veranda. Photograph taken on 26 November 1947, by an unidentified photographer for the Free Lance. The staff in the dress-making section on the second floor escaped after taking the stairs and leaving the building just as the upper parts of the store began to collapse. Only the supervisor and one of the department staff made it safely to the fire escape and down. The smoke was coming from the cellar of Congreve’s Building which was beneath the furnishing department, but there were no flames and no sound of burning. 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. Firefighters and Police were able to gain entry to the ground floor about 6 pm, where they found a number of bodies near the exits and others hanging from beams. Due to the quantity of clothes made on the premises, the buildings were classified as factory buildings, which helped them to pass a Labour Department inspection in 1943. A civic mass funeral was held on 23 November at Ruru Lawn Cemetery in Bromley, the largest funeral in Christchurch’s history. It took four days to dampen down hot spots, demolish unsafe walls and recover other human remains. Date 18 Nov 1947 Ref PAColl-8163-27 Description. The cause of the fire was never established. In 1947 Ballantynes had 458 staff, and its premises were made up of eight buildings, joined by openings to make one establishment. 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 afternoon tea break. Ballantynes, symbol of an or­derly, correct life, suddenly burst into flame. November 18, 1947. Forty-one people died and the resulting Royal Commission recommended urgent changes to the building regulations and fire prevention and firefighting throughout the country. It was the largest funeral in Christchurch’s history. The Ballantynes fire on November 18, 1947, remains New Zealand's deadliest fire tragedy. This building has endured two of NZ's worst disasters: the fire and the Christchurch earthquake. By 6:00pm firemen, policemen and volunteers were able to begin the search for bodies lying in the charred ruins. Photo / Supplied At least 680 people were in Ballantynes at the time of the fire - 430 staff and 250 customers. On 18 November 1947 Ballantynes was razed by one of the worst fires in New Zealand’s history. At first the firemen thought it was just a cellar fire. These survived the fire.[9]. [Chapter Break] Fire was first seen in the form of a red pillar which shot from a cellar up a stair­well and roared with terri­fying speed through the eastern end of the central storey. Find items in libraries near you. Kenneth Ballantyne had found himself trapped. Ballantynes Fire Tuesday, November 18, 1947. 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. As soon as things got hot for them, they left on their own behest. By now the flames had broken through to the furnishing department. Local drama Ablaze re-enacts the Ballantynes' fire of 1947, one of New Zealand's deadliest disasters. However, the fire-brigade ladders were obstructed from reaching the top floor by the store's rigid verandahs.[3]. In this entry we will show you how to find information about the start of the fire, how it spread throughout the store, who … 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. Someone contacted the phone operator and stated that the fire brigade be called. 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. ; Ballantynes’ Fire resource –Transcripts of articles from newspapers and other sources regarding the Ballantynes’ Fire. The fire at the Ballantynes Department store in Christchurch on 18 November 1947 was the worst fire in New Zealand’s history. 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. The Ballantynes building was a maze, four storeys high in some places, and many parts had no access to a fire escape. The fire in Christchurch’s prestigious department store was the deadliest in New Zealand’s history. 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 at the Ballantynes Department store in Christchurch on 18 November 1947 was the worst fire in New Zealand’s history and 41 people died. None of the victims were identifiable apart from Violet Cody. 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They were able to rescue Kenneth Ballantyne when he broke a window and climbed out onto the parapet of the building. There was no emergency evacuation plan and evacuation was left to the initiative of individual department heads. Even the arriving fire brigade crews did not realise at once that there were still people on the upper floors of the building complex. From there they were rescued by firemen. 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. Sailors of the ships Bellona and Arbytus (Royal New Zealand Navy) help to attack the flames [1947], CCL PhotoCD 15, IMG0038More staff left the building just as the centre of the department store exploded in flames, blowing out two large windows. With Hannah Marshall, Daniel Watterson, Mark Mitchinson, Jared Turner. The fire started just before 11 a.m. at a home on Ballantyne Drive, just east of Portobello Boulevard in Orléans. The fire at the Ballantynes Department store in Christchurch on 18 November 1947 was the worst fire in New Zealand’s history. This speaks to the significance of the fire due to its rarity. Longtime Christchurch resident Don Clark was nearby on the day and said everyone was connected to someone affected. Over time superheated gas and fire began working into the floors above. The senior fire officer ordered a Brigade Call, although that order was only received by the fire station at 4:00 pm. At the time of the fire Ballantynes employed 458 people, over 300 of whom were women. Search. She then slewed upside down and then fell head first to the pavement in Cashel Street. You can search the catalogue for more photographs.. Ballantynes’ Fire factsheet – An easy to read summary of this disaster. 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. 23 November 1947. The fire has also resonated with New Zealand fiction writers. 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. 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 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… Please ensure that you have JavaScript enabled in your browser. See more ideas about Fire, Christchurch, Christchurch new zealand. At 3:31pm on 18 November, 1947, one of the salesmen employed in the store was to… This is a sample of photographs of the Ballantynes’ Fire disaster of 18 November 1947. [3] After flashover the first floor was almost instantly consumed by a wall of flame. Two women decided to try the fire escape again, but could not get to it because the roof of the office began to fall in. WorldCat Home About WorldCat Help. For further information see the book The Ballantyne Fire Disasterby Gordon G Walker (GG Walker, … He had gone across the street to smoke a cigarette with a friend, since Ballantynes had a strict no-smoking policy on its premises. The fire in Christchurch’s prestigious department store was the deadliest in New Zealand’s history. The last bodies were not carried out of the building until 21 November. 3:31 p.m on the 18th of November, 1947. Image collection: Ballantynes’ Fire. This report presents information regarding the Ballantynes Department Store Fire Disaster, which occurred at Christchurch, New Zealand, on the 18th November 1947. Yet a dignified Italianate facade concealed dangerous secrets. Staff in other areas of the building complex were not even made aware of the fire as there was no fire alarm. Advanced Search Find a … Planned celebrations for the wedding of Princess Elizabeth that were due to be held on 20 November 1947 were cancelled and flags were instead flown at half mast throughout New Zealand, apart from a few official exemptions on Government Buildings. This call was received at the fire station at 3:46pm. Events In History. Ballantynes’ Fire factsheet – An easy to read summary of this disaster. The quality of the photograph seems to date it after the Ballantyne's fire. The Ballantyne's Department Store’s fire of 18 November 1947, in Christchurch, was the worst fire in New Zealand history, killing 41 people. The firefighter making the call had to first push through the crowd to get to a pharmacy and then had to wait for the overloaded telephone exchange lines to clear before he could make the call. Just as he reached ground, power lines burned out and sheets of blue flame swept along the face of the store. A DigitalNZ Story by Donna Robertson. Hoses were used to wet him down until ladders could be moved into position. 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. There were no emergency alarms to alert staff, and no way of automatically contacting the fire brigade. Around the outside of the building was a veranda which made it difficult for the fire fighters to put up their ladders. They didn't bring a ladder. The fire was put out by 8 pm leaving the building as a gutted shell. K41 is the code used when there are fatalities at an incident responded to by Fire and Emergency New Zealand. 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. It started in the basement of the furniture department, which was located at southern end of the Colombo Street frontage of the complex. This building has endured two of NZ's worst disasters: the fire and the Christchurch earthquake. On November 18, 1947, as a fire took hold in the basement of Ballantynes department store in Christchurch, 500 employees kept working and hundreds of shoppers roamed through the showrooms or chatted over tea and cakes in the cafe. Today marks the 73rd anniversary of the Ballantynes Department Store fire. It is on a fire disaster that happened in 1947. They spent about 10 minutes searching for the seat of the fire but were unable to locate it. 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. The quality of the photograph seems to date it after the Ballantyne's fire. Ballantynes is a Christchurch department store that traces its origins back to a millinery and drapery business that began in the front room of a Cashel Street residence in 1854. Ballantynes Fire Luke Sherry St Andrews College Overview Info On the 18th of November 1947 Ballantynes Department store in Christchurch erupted in flames. The fire brigade at the time was understaffed, and the two most senior officers were not on duty. The brigade initially thought that the fire was contained to the cellar. Create lists, bibliographies and reviews: or Search WorldCat. 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. 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. At 3:47 pm fire engines arrived. A DigitalNZ Story by Donna Robertson. This was the first sign from outside the shop that something was happening, but within minutes the building was aflame. The fire which raged through Ballantyne's department store in Christchurch was the worst fire in New Zealand history. 41 people lost their lives, 39 staff and 2 of the company's auditors from the partnership of Stewart Beckett. The staff had no access to a formal fire evacuation plan. The women who had stayed in the office died in the fire. Workers on the multiple top floor attempted to denote their location to firefighters by banging at windows before being killed by heat, fire or smoke. Forty-one of his staff perished. Sixty-eight years ago on November 18, 1947 Christchurch's Ballantynes department store was razed by fire. 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. Photo / Christchurch Star Archive. 41 people died in total and the fire it is still considered one of New Zealand's worst disasters . Ballantynes' Fire 18 November 1947. They did not realise that people were trapped on the upper floors of the building. After the fire, Ballantynes continued to trade from its undamaged building in Lichfield Street. [7] The company claimed after the fire that around 250 to 300 customers were inside the building when smoke was first seen coming from a cellar, many of whom were not inside the showrooms but inside the elaborate neoclassical tearooms on an upper floor, having afternoon tea while listening to a string trio. He told the woman to call the fire brigade and tell the owners. 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. 41 people died; 39 employees and two auditors,[1] who found themselves trapped by the fire, or were overcome by smoke while evacuating the store complex without a fire alarm or evacuation plan. The showrooms, fitting rooms, art gallery and sumptuous tearooms catered to the elite of Canterbury. It … On Tuesday, 18 November 1947, a fire engulfed Ballantynes department store in central Christchurch, New Zealand. Ballantyne Coat of Arms: Quarterly, 1st and 4th, gules, a chevron argent between three mullets or (for Bannatyne); 2nd and 3rd, azure, a castle triple towered argent, masoned sable, windows and portcullis shut gules, in dexter chief a mullet or (for Macleod). Me and a friend made this movie for the Christchurch Heritage Competition. 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. Urgent changes were recommended to building regulations and fire safety requirements to prevent similar disasters.[2]. Other. The bodies of the 41 victims were buried at Ruru Lawn Cemetery, Bromley, after a civic funeral. They were met by joint managing director Roger Ballantyne, who showed the fire crew a back access way to the cellar. Well renowned for its quality merchandise and exceptional service, Ballantynes is the place to go for leading fashion, beauty and homewares brands. It remains the deadliest fire in New Zealand history.[2][3]. 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. Forty one coffins are laid out with flowers. The fire at the Ballantynes Department store in Christchurch on 18 November 1947 was the worst fire in New Zealand’s history. 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. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button. Two credit department employees jumped together from a top floor window of Pratt's Building on the corner of Colombo and Cashel Streets. [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. 3:31 p.m on the 18th of November, 1947. [citation needed] Recommendations were made for changes in fire prevention and firefighting for all of New Zealand. The effects on the community General The 1947 fire at Ballantynes’ Department Store, Christchurch is the worst fire in New Zealand history, killing 41 people. Some heads of departments made the decision themselves to evacuate their staff from the upper floors of the building. The store itself was made up of seven smaller buildings linked together, and was four storeys high in some places. He worked with other members of the staff to place fire extinguishers at the bottom of the stairs. This speaks to the significance of the fire due to its rarity. There were no fire sprinklers, and the materials used to line parts of the building were wooden match lining and pinex, both very flammable. 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. [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'. Twinkl » New Zealand » Years 4 - 6 » Topics/Themes » Festivals, Celebrations and Events At 3:31pm on 18 November, 1947, one of the salesmen employed in the store was told by a woman employee that smoke was coming up the stairs. The staff member who saw smoke coming from a stairwell asked a colleague to call the fire … There was no emergency plan in place and the staff had not been instructed on what to do in the event of a fire. 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. 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. At first the firefighters had only shorter ladders which could not reach the windows on the upper floors. The other seven died after they collapsed from smoke inhalation. Directed by Joshua Frizzell. It also recommended urgent changes to the building regulations and fire safety requirements to prevent another similar disaster. The rambling nature of the building meant that once started a fire could travel quickly through the store. [2] The Ballantyne Memorial Rose Garden was built at Ruru Lawn Cemetery. In the most tragic circumstances 41 On 18 November 1947 a fire broke out in the store and many workers became trapped on the upper floors. Today marks the 73rd anniversary of the Ballantynes fire. The staff member who saw smoke coming from a stairwell asked a colleague to call the fire brigade. Outside the firemen struggled to fight the flames in vain. 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. 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. Another woman jumped from a third floor window, hitting the veranda and then landing on the road. The business was owned and managed by two brothers and who were of the Ballantyne family. The sequence of delays, errors, and fatal mistakes made by management during the next 25 minutes have been portrayed most memorably in the novel Gardens of Fire by historian and novelist Stevan Eldred-Grigg, who based the book on detailed research and interviews with survivors. Many of these workers worked on the upper floors in various back-office departments. The cause of the fire was never established. She said each year a wreath is laid at the Ballantyne's fire memorial in the Ruru Lawn Cemetery in Bromley. [7] Many staff only knew the layout of their own workrooms and were unaware of alternative egress routes.[6]. 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. The ChristChurch Cathedral bell-ringers cancelled their wedding peals that were to be recorded and later broadcast on radio. Ballantynes’ Fire resource –Transcripts of articles from newspapers and other sources regarding the Ballantynes’ Fire. The fire-damaged buildings were demolished and the main Ballantynes store was rebuilt on the corner of Colombo Street and Cashel Street. [6], Fire protection was provided by manual fire extinguishers, although staff were not formally trained in their use. The commission recommended changes in fire prevention and firefighting throughout New Zealand. The fires finally burnt out completely by 8:00pm. The fire soon became out of control with the loss of 41 lives. Most of the upper floors were staff work areas, including the dress-making department, and the credit and accounting department. Funeral for the Ballantynes Fire Victims at Ruru Lawn Cemetery, Christchurch. 41 people lost their lives, 39 staff and 2 of the company's auditors from the partnership of Stewart Beckett. BiblioWeb: app03 Version 3.26.0 Last updated 2021/01/20 06:52, After the Paint n’ Pen art exhibition, local…, #PopUpPenguins are in Christchurch! The Ballantynes fire on November 18, 1947 remains New Zealand's deadliest fire tragedy. Ballantynes by the time of the fire was widely known as the queen of department stores in the city. Search for Library Items Search for Lists Search for Contacts Search for a Library. A dramatisation of the fire, Ablaze, was directed by Josh Frizzell and screened by TVNZ in 2019. 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