The Atlanta fire ravaged the northeastern section of Atlanta in 1917. It started in a warehouse near Grady Hospital and spread rapidly to black neighborhoods in Buttermilk Bottom (near today’s Civic Center). The predominance of wooden structures and a strong southern wind fed the flames. Horses pulled most of the fire engines; fire-fighting equipment was relatively primitive. Atlanta enlisted the aid of many other cities’ fire departments. Mansions along Ponce de Leon Avenue were dynamited to create a fire break. By the time the fire was extinguished, it had consumed nearly 3,400 buildings and rendered 10,000 people homeless. The video features interviews with witnesses to the devastation.
Article regarding the Great Atlanta Fire on May 21, 1917 which destroyed 300 acres of land. Provides background, the fire itself and the aftermath. Also includes photo of the extent of the fire.