Ballantynes is a big department store that had a sudden stop for a while.
On the 18th November 1947 at 3:31pm one of the salesmen employed in the store was told by a woman employee that smoke was coming up the stairs. The smoke was coming from the cellar of Congreves Building which was beneath the furnishing department but there were no flames and no smell of smoke.
Ways people escaped,
Some people had some crazy ways to escape like one person jumped off the second building onto the first storey verandah and then they got rescued from there. Some people were too scared to jump off the building and stayed and died. Some people jumped off the second storey and straight onto the ground and died of so many injuries.
How it changed,
After that Ballantynes changed so much they built a new Ballantynes and employed new staff. Ballantynes is still up and running it is a family friendly department store that sells clothes christmas stuff makeup all things in the kitchen and food.
How they fought,
They had to get sailors and volunteers, because back then they only had volunteer fire men. It was harder work back then to put out a fire that big, because they don't have thousands of fire trucks and hoses like we have in New Zealand now. The fire didn't completely go out until 6:00pm at the same day. Then they went through to find any dead bodies.
More than 41 people died in the Ballantynes fire.