Fire at Atlanta’s Cable Piano Company building on Broad Street, November 19, 1936. The fire began in the basement of the building and spread up the elevator shaft. As the fire raged behind her, one woman stood on a window ledge on the fourth floor until firemen were able to move a ladder into place and bring her down. Another woman jumped from the fifth floor onto the roof of a lower building next door.
The Great Atlanta Fire of 1917 is over, but the struggle to rebuild has just begun. Atlantans are slowly beginning to comprehend the devastation. Over 300 acres and 1,938 buildings were destroyed. Property loss amounted to $5,500,000 (over $92,000,000 today). A little over half of the damage was covered by insurance. Almost 80 percent of the buildings lost had wood shingles. The fires will continue to smolder the rest of the week. Miraculously, only ten injuries were reported and no lives were lost in the fire.
This concludes the Great Atlanta Fire of 1917 Live Blog Event. We hope you have enjoyed this experience. This event was edited by Trevor Beemon, Manager of Digital Communications at the Atlanta History Center. All of the images and audio clips included in this event are courtesy of the Kenan Research Center at the Atlanta History Center. Special thanks to Sue VerHoef, Archivist; Paige Adair, Manager of Reprographic Services; Heather Thayer Culligan, Collections Manager; and Melanie Stephan, Senior Archivist, for their help and support. Tune in May 23rd when guest blogger Sue VerHoef will address your questions about the fire, and explain the impact it had on our city.