Photograph, Hostel Fire; Unknown Photographer; 03.1967; ZLB.2599.029


Photograph, Hostel Fire

About this object

This photograph was taken during the March 1967 hostel fire at the Awarua Radio Station.

About the Fire:

Believed to have been started by an electric blanket in one of the centre rooms of the hostel, with the occupant waking to find his room full of smoke. Along with one of the other residents of the block, the room occupant attempted to put out the fire with fire extinguishers, however, after this was unsuccessful, at 6.11 am the fire brigade was called.

When the Invercargill Fire Brigade showed up at 6.23am the building was engulfed in flames and it took five deliveries of water and 20 minutes to get it under control. By that stage, 80-90% of the building had sustained damage. With only 8 of the 24 bedrooms being saved.

Many of the 15 men living in the hostel lost all of their belongings and were given clothing by their co-workers and the Salvation Army and while most the accommodation had gone up in smoke, a crisis was averted with board or billeting quickly being arranged for those who no longer had a bed.

Place Made

Oceania, New Zealand, South Island, Southland, Awarua


Unknown Photographer

Maker Role


Date Made


Inscription and Marks

Handwritten on back in black pen: 'HOSTEL FIRE, ZLB 2599-006'.


h 90 mm x w 125 mm



Object Type


Subject and Association Keywords

Disasters (including floods and fires)

Subject and Association Keywords

Communication (including Diaries and Letters)

Medium and Materials

organic, processed material, vegetal, paper, photographic paper

Object number


Copyright Licence  

Copyright status unknown - orphaned work

This object is from

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