Story: Fires and fire services

Funeral for Ballantynes fire victims

Funeral for Ballantynes fire victims

Coffins stretch into the distance at the funeral for victims of the Ballantynes department store fire, at Ruru lawn cemetery, Christchurch. Forty-one people, including many young women employees, died in the 1947 fire. The royal commission of inquiry that followed found fault with the way the store management and local brigade responded to the emergency. It recommended changes, including the establishment of a national fire service. Many years passed before this goal was achieved.

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How to cite this page:

Nancy Swarbrick, 'Fires and fire services - Fires in the 1940s', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 22 April 2024)

Story by Nancy Swarbrick, published 11 Mar 2010