<ul><li>On the 18 th of November, 1947, Ballantyne's Department Store, Christchurch, the worst fire in New Zealand’s history happened. </li></ul>
How it happened? <ul><li>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. </li></ul><ul><li>Most of the upper floors were staff work areas, including the dress-making department, and the credit and accounting department. </li></ul><ul><li>At 3:31 pm 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. </li></ul><ul><li>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. He told the woman to call the fire brigade and tell the owners. </li></ul><ul><li>The salesman was beginning to get concerned when some minutes later the fire brigade had still not arrived. He worked with other members of the staff to place fire extinguishers at the bottom of the stairs. </li></ul>
How many people died? <ul><li>The last bodies were not carried out of the building until 21 November. 41 people had died in the blaze. </li></ul>
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