ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) -- Smoke and ash lingered Thursday after a massive fire guts a historical building near Morris Brown College at Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Vine Street.

The former dormitory stood vacant and deteriorating when the blaze broke out Wednesday night at around 9 p.m. The flames and smoke could be seen billowing from the structure for miles.

“When our units did arrive on the scene, they found a large building, a 3-story building - with fire showing on the 3rd floor and immediately progressing through the roof line,” said Sgt. Cortez Stafford of the Atlanta Fire Department.

The massive blaze sparked curiosity from concerned residents due to its proximity to Morris Brown College.

“It's on the campus of Morris Brown, but the building and properties on fire actually belong to Clark Atlanta University, which was confirmed by some of their officials,” said Sgt. Stafford.

Portions of the vacant dorm were boarded up and according to firefighters on the scene, there was no electricity to the building; Igniting further suspicion as to how the fire started.

The building is known as Furber Cottage and it's located in the Atlanta University Center Historic Disctrict. The building was built in 1899. According to the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation, Morris Brown College occupied the original Atlanta University campus from 1932 until bankruptcy resulted in the sale of portions of the property in 2014.

Since then, a series of fires have plagued this area, including one in 2015 at the old Gaines Hall, which was also vacant. And another in 2017, at a vacant building at the corner of Beckwith and Walnut streets.

Despite the recent string of fires, the Furber Cottage building and the others nearby, represent decades of African-American history in Atlanta. With many in the community anxious to revitalize that area, the future of this campus and its buildings, are hazy, at best.

Investigators will being looking into the cause of the fire.


Recommended for you

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.