Zagreb in History: the Great Fire at Dolac Market

Total Croatia News

We found an interesting video in Zagrebački memento archives about a fire that broke out at Dolac market on March 29th 1932.

The voice-over tells the story about the accident that happened in a building at Dolac, where a film distribution company used to store film reels and also set up a screening room in their office space without a permit. During one of their late-night screenings, around 11.30 PM, a fire broke out – as film reels are extremely flammable, the whole collection went up in flames. A small explosion followed, causing the fire to spread to every floor of the building. To make things worse, the attic was used for storing dried medicinal herbs and it doesn’t take a vivid imagination to guess the whole ordeal ended badly.

Fire safety regulations weren’t really a thing in the first half of the 20th century, so there was no fire extinguishing equipment present in the building. The official Zagreb fire brigade had 28 members, 15 of whom came to the accident site at Dolac. Unfortunately, the main staircase in the building collapsed after the explosion, making it a lot harder to carry out the emergency evacuation. Some of the residents were rescued through windows, but the fire nonetheless resulted in 9 fatalities and multiple injured.

The only good thing to come out of this horrible event was the City finally deciding to secure additional funds for the fire department. A special automobile was acquired to transport firemen and fire extinguishing equipment, and two vehicles were converted into fire engines. Take a look at the video below:


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