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Unveiling of Memorial Plaque & Memorial Service to Commemorate the Lives Lost in Australia's Deadliest Building Fire

On 13 August 1966 a catastrophic fire caused by a knocked over heater tore through two floors of the William Booth Memorial Home for men at 462 Little Lonsdale Street in Melbourne’s CBD.

30 residents lost their lives in Australia’s deadliest building fire, and they will be commemorated, and recognition given to the Firefighters, Ambulance officers, police, and members of the public who responded on that fateful day. Without their intervention, more lives would have been lost.


  • Senior representatives from the Metropolitan Fire Brigade (MFB), The Salvation Army, firefighters and members of the public who were present at the incident, and relatives and friends of the deceased will attend the unveiling of a Memorial plaque and Memorial Service, in recognition of the 30 residents who lost their lives 50 years ago.




  • 1.00 PM - Unveiling of the Memorial Plaque, 462 Little Lonsdale Street, CBD, conducted by MFB’s Acting Deputy Chief Fire Officer Robert Purcell & Major Brendan Nottle from The Salvation Army.
  • 2.30 PM – Memorial Service at The Salvation Army City Temple, 69 Bourke Street, CBD, led by Major Brendan Nottle with music by the South Barwon Salvation Army Band.

High resolution photos and broadcast quality footage is available on request.  
Media wishing to attend should contact Phil or Emma to confirm attendance.

Media Contacts: 

Phil BuckleyMFB External CommunicationsManager
P: 0408 774 713
E: pbuckley@mfb.vic.gov.au

Emma Daniell, The Slavtion Army Media
P: 0428 768 919
E: emma.daniell@aus.salvationarmy.org