William Booth Memorial Home for Men Fire MemorialPrint Page Print this page

13-August-2015 (Tim Fitzgerald) - Dedication
13-August-2015 (Tim Fitzgerald) - Dedication

Photographs supplied by www.Plaques.Com.AU / Tim Fitzgerald

The photographic plaque commemorates the thirty residents of a Salvation Army William Booth Memorial Home for Men who died in a catastrophic fire in August 1966. The plaque also remembers the survivors of the tragedy, the Salvation Army staff, the Melbourne Fire Brigade and medical services. 

The plaque was unveiled on 13 August 2016 on the 50th anniversary of the fire. The ceremony was conducted by the Metropolitan Fire Brigade’s Acting Deputy Chief Fire Officer Robert Purcell and Major Brendan Nottle from The Salvation Army. Trevor Reed, a fireman who attended the conflagration, pulled the curtain.  

The plaque was funded by the Metropolitan Fire Brigade. The dedication image shows Deputy Chief Officer Rob Purcell and Firefighter Trevor Reed (Retired). Trevor Reed was one of the first Metropolitan Fire Brigade firefighters into the building.

The fire was, and still is, Australia's deadliest building fire. The Salvation Army could not afford to install sprinklers or alarms because the money was spent feeding the men and keeping them off the streets.

The fire started on the third floor after a boarder knocked over an illegal heater. The fire smoldered for several hours in room number 1 and exploded after a fellow boarder opened the room's door. A backdraft and flashover ensued, and fire and smoke engulfed the third and fourth floors. Most of the 30 men who died were caged in their cyclone mesh-covered rooms and had no time to escape.




Address:462 Little Lonsdale Street, Between Brights Place and Alsop Lane, Melbourne, 3000
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -37.812358
Long: 144.958324
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
View Google Map


Monument Type:Plaque
Monument Theme:Disaster
Actual Event Start Date:13-August-1966
Actual Event End Date:13-August-1966


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Saturday 13th August, 2016
Front Inscription

On 13 August 1966 thirty men 
       perished here in 
Australia's deadliest building fire.
They are remembered ; 
as are the survivors,
The Salvation Army staff of the 
William Booth Memorial Home, 
the Metropolitan Fire Brigade, 
medical services and the many others 
who were involved both during
    and after the fire.

Source: MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au