Nearly six months after a fire ripped through the iconic Krispy Kreme on Ponce de Leon Avenue in Midtown, a second fire erupted at the now shuttered doughnut shop late Wednesday afternoon. The historic Krispy Kreme location is owned by basketball legend and sports commentator Shaquille O’Neal.
Atlanta Fire and Rescue arrived on the scene just after 4:30 p.m. Wednesday afternoon to find flames shooting through the roof along the east side of the building. The fire was quickly put out. No one was found inside the building and no injuries were reported. The cause of the blaze has yet to be determined.
“They [firefighters] were cautious to enter initially considering the damage that was caused with the prior fire back in February,” Atlanta fire spokesman Sargent Cortez Stafford tells Eater. “The decision was made to enter to extinguish the fire quickly and also search for anyone that may be inside the building. The damage caused during yesterday’s fire did not impact the building any more than the fire earlier this year.”
Utilities to the shop were supposedly shut off following the February 10 fire and the property has been fenced off since the initial blaze. According to Stafford, it appears renovations on the building have yet to begin.
Shortly after 12:30 a.m. on February 10, flames broke out in the back of the building near the drive-thru window, which was open at the time. Two employees working that evening and escaped uninjured. The fire caused catastrophic damage to the Krispy Kreme, gutting the back portion of the building and melting the ordering counter in the front of the doughnut shop.
Investigators eventually ruled arson as the cause of the February fire. Surveillance photos around the time of the fire from the shop on the night of the blaze show a person of interest wearing all black attire. No arrests have been made in the case.
O’Neal purchased the landmark Krispy Kreme on Ponce as part of a 2016 franchise deal with the North Carolina-based doughnut chain. This location opened in 1965 and featured a 24-hour drive-thru window. It was the only in-town Atlanta Krispy Kreme location deemed kosher-certified. He and his partners vow to rebuild.
Update, July 8, 10:45 a.m.: This story has been updated with comments and details from Atlanta fire spokesman Sargent Cortez Stafford.