History of the Hotel Fire
of The Fire
Accident or Arson?
the time Mayor Hartsfield arrived at the scene, nothing
remained but smoldering embers and the smell of burnt flesh.
According to a report filed by the National Board of Underwriters,
a partially burned mattress found on the third floor gave
rise to the conclusion that a careless and possibly intoxicated
guest dropped a cigarette onto it, thus starting the fire.
Mayor Hartsfield invited fire experts from across the country
to conduct their own investigations and several arson theories
quickly emerged. But the press and the public in general
were more concerned about why an "absolutely fireproof"
hotel lacked fire escapes, a sprinkler system and fire alarms
and less concerned with theories of arson. They demanded
culpability from the hotel's owners and operators and the
victims families were eventually awarded a $3.5 million
negligence lawsuit which they unfortunately would never