At around 3.30pm on 18 November 1947 a fire broke out in Ballantynes' Department Store on the corner of Cashel Street and Colombo Street. The ensuring tragedy resulted in the deaths of 41 people, making it the worst fire in New Zealand history. Our selection of photographs records the events and aftermath of this sad day.
Ballantynes store on fire
View of firefighters tacking the fire inside the Ballantynes store on the corner of Cashel Street and Colombo Street in the central city.
Ballantyne's fire, 1947
Ballantyne's fire. From corner Cashel and Colombo streets. Highly commended entry in the 2014 Christchurch City Libraries Photo Hunt by Robert Brettmeyer.
Firemen at Ballantynes Fire 1947
Ballantyne's fire, 1947. The fireman at the left is Robert's father (25 years). Two years out of the navy. Highly commended entry in the. 2014 Christchurch City Libraries Photo Hunt by Robert...
Ballantynes Firefighters from the street 1947
Ballantyne's fire, 1947. Showing Reeces next door
Aftermath of Ballantyne's Fire, crane demolishing wreckage
A crane demolishing fire damaged sections of the Ballantynes building. Seen from the corner of Cashel Street and Colombo Street.
Aftermath of Ballantyne's Fire, view from Colombo Street
The fire damaged Ballantynes building viewed from Colombo Street.
Aftermath of Ballantyne's fire, view from Cashel Street
View of Cashel Street, looking west across Colombo Street to the fire damaged Ballantynes building.
Islington Freezing Works Volunteer Fire Service at the Ballantynes fire
Islington Freezing Works Volunteer Fire Service at the Ballantynes fire. Fire Fighters (from right to left) Boby Meyer & Bolo Arps. Two bystanders on the roof of Smiths (before being aware of death...