Atlanta, GA Office Building Fire, Mar 1954

Atlanta GA baskette piano fire 3-25-1954.jpg


Atlanta, March, 25. -- (AP) -- A five-story building in the center of Atlanta's business district was wrecked by fire and explosion today, with damage estimated in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Fire developed at midnight in a building at 50-56 Pryor Street, owned by the Ivan Allen Co., office equipment firm. Firemen said gases generated by the blaze probably caused the explosion which blew out the front of the structure.
The blaze was brought under control at dawn by a dozen fire companies but fire hoses continued to pour water into the wreckage during the day.

Pryor Street was littered for half a block with debris. Brick blown out by the explosion blocked the doorway of a fire company directly across the street but firemen drove a ladder truck over the rubble. The front wall remaining after the explosion was pulled down by cable as a safety precaution.

The structure housed the Baskette Piano Co. and Atlanta Book Store on the street floor. Upper floors were occupied by the D. C. Heath CO., and Scott Foreman and Co., publishers. The Baskette firm damage, estimated at $50,000 partially covered by insurance.

Ivan Allen Sr., estimated that it would cost between $175,000 and $200,000 to replace the building. He said about half the company's loss was covered by insurance.

Estimates of losses by other companies in the building was not immediately available.

A restaurant, a book store and a bank adjacent to the burned out structure were ordered closed until other walls of the building site are razed.

Eastern Air Lines and Delta C. & S. moved their Pryor Street offices because of water damage in the First Federal Savings and Loan Association building.

The vault room of the savings and loan firm and basement of Walthour Sporting Goods store flooded.

The burned structure was built in 1913.

Panama City News Florida 1954-03-26