Devonport’s Great Fire – 100 Years Ago

Posted by on Sep 08, 2010 | 7 Comments

Photo courtesy of Auckland City Library Special Collection

Photo courtesy of Auckland City Library Special Collection

One hundred years ago this week on the 6th September 1910 a huge fire swept through and destroyed 6 houses along King Edward Parade, in the location of the  current numbers 1 to 5.

The fire started from clothes that were drying in front of the kitchen fire in Ventnor House; a large boarding-house of 32 rooms, (now Elizabeth Apartments), about 2 pm.

There was a very strong easterly gale blowing and within 2 1/2 hours the boarding house, three two storey houses and a cottage were destroyed completely and three other cottages damaged.

Somewhat bizarrely, one of the residents refused to have her furniture removed from her house, for fear that it would be stolen in the street. Needless to say, she lost the lot.

This momentous event was covered in great detail by the “New Zealand Herald” and photos appeared in the “Auckland Weekly News” and the “Daily Graphic”.

The current residents of this area are getting together for a shared dinner this week to commemorate this significant event in our community’s ‘s history.

Thanks to Lyndsay Rendall for the story. Keep them coming Devonport!


  1. Gladys says:

    The photo looks like the reverse of earthquake damage – chimneys standing but nothing else. Looking forward to more historical stories

  2. The Speculator says:

    Yes, good point; will see what we can do.

  3. The Speculator says:

    Correct; no fatalities

  4. Colin Jackson says:

    A link to a bigger version of that photo would be awesome too 🙂

  5. Colin Jackson says:

    No fatalities, I take it?

  6. Keith says:

    I did some design work on one of the houses built on the site after the fire and there was serious subsidence causing cracks in the fireplace and a major concrete wall to lean over.
    This appeared to be caused by the house being built on top of the ash.
    This was probably ten or more years ago

  7. Mike says:

    Wow. Great story. Keep them coming.

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