The #Great Atlanta fire started in a warehouse near Grady Hospital and rapidly spread through the 4th ward which was predominantly a #black neighborhood the “Buttermilk Bottom”. The wooden structured homes and strong winds fed the flames. The fire burned for nearly 10 hours and destroyed 300 acres of land, 1,900 buildings, and displaced 10,000 people from their homes. The damages were estimated at $5 million and $92 million when adjusted for inflation. The cause of the fire was never known. However, the day the fire started was clear, warm, and sunny with a breeze from the south. The fire was not the only one that occurred that day. Another fire at the Candler Warehouse across the tracks from West End also occurred.
For weeks, the city was shrouded in smoke and ash. Houses collapsed in on themselves, and wooden frames and shingles fell into cellars, which created smoldering fire pits. Thousands of homeless families relocated to the Piedmont Park or vacant lots on Edgewood Avenue, while others slept in the civic auditorium, in church sanctuaries, and in hotel and theater lobbies.
Low-income housing developments were later built in the destroyed extreme southern section and the areas south of North Avenue. There were 50 acres around Boulevard and Highland that developed into the campus for Atlanta University’s Medical Center.