Landmark Atlanta Krispy Kreme location owned by Shaquille O'Neal gutted by fire

Jason Owens
·2 min read

A landmark Krispy Kreme store in Atlanta owned by Shaquille O'Neal was gutted by fire early Wednesday morning.

The basketball Hall of Famer posted video of the store engulfed in flames shortly after midnight with the caption "we will be back stronger than ever."

Local news outlets posted other angles of the burning building.

Cause of fire remains unkown

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that two employees were working the store's drive-thru, but were able to escape safely after they saw wires smoking. The cause of the fire remains under investigation. No injuries were reported.

Douglas Hatcher of the Atlanta Fire Rescue Department told the Associated Press that the fire started in the back of the store. Photos show that the external front of the building escaped significant damage, though investigators told AJC that it is likely "totally destroyed.”

Firefighters talk in front of a burned Krispy Kreme Doughnuts store in Atlanta on Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2021. The historic store was engulfed in flames early Wednesday. The store owned by Basketball Hall-of-Famer Shaquille O'Neal was significantly damaged. (AP Photo/Ron Harris)

Shaquille O'Neal vowed "we will be back" after fire tore through his Atlanta Krispy Kreme. (AP Photo/Ron Harris)

“It’s not going to be open anytime soon,” fire spokesman Sgt. Cortez Stafford told AJC. “I would say it’s a total loss. The entire back half is burned.”

Krispy Kreme location's historic roots

The Midtown Krispy Kreme location opened in 1965 as part of the iconic Southern estalishment's expansion away from its North Carolina roots. It reportedly donated 150 dozen doughnuts to churches to help feed the swarms of mourners participating in the 1968 funeral procession for Dr. Martin Luther King as most restuarants in the city were closed that Tuesday morning.

O'Neal bought the store in 2016 and became a global spokemsan for the company.

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