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Winecoff Hotel Fire

by Chris Schroder

Sunday will mark the anniversary of the deadliest hotel fire in U.S. history. On December 7, 1946, flames engulfed Peachtree Street’s Winecoff Hotel, since rehabilitated as the Ellis Hotel.

The hotel, advertised as “absolutely fireproof,” was one of Atlanta’s tallest buildings when it opened in 1913. The cause of the fire is still unknown.

An amateur photographer won a Pulitzer Prize for photography for a shot of a woman jumping from the hotel. Following this tragedy and a series of other hotel fires, building codes were significantly changed to require multiple escape routes and fire resistant doors in hotel rooms.

– Mark C. McDonald, Georgia Trust

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