Fire extinguished at downtown Atlanta building under renovation

A downtown Atlanta building, which is under renovation to become loft apartments, caught on fire Thursday afternoon, Atlanta Fire Rescue said.

The old Norfolk Southern Railway Building on Ted Turner Drive at Mitchell Street was in the process of being renovated by CIM Group and development partner Stream Reality. They plan to convert it into 246 apartments, and reserve about 50,000 square feet for commercial space on the ground floor and viaduct levels of the complex.

RELATED: Loft apartments to fill former Norfolk Southern building in downtown Atlanta

However, the building’s fourth floor caught on fire, prompting Atlanta Fire Rescue to respond to the two-alarm fire. 

An estimated 20 people were evacuated from the building, Atlanta fire said. One person was treated for smoke inhalation, and a firefighter was treated for heat exhaustion and taken to a local hospital.

Heavy smoke conditions were reported through the sixth floor, but the blaze has now been extinguished, Atlanta fire confirmed.


“One of the biggest challenges that we faced was getting to the fire, making sure everyone was out of the building so we could operate safely and making sure there's no hidden fires or anyone trapped in the building,” Atlanta fire spokesman Sgt. Cortez Stafford told Channel 2 Action News.

CIM is the company also developing The Gulch project in downtown Atlanta. It acquired the Norfolk Southern railroad office complex last summer.

CIM co-founder Richard Ressler is the brother of Atlanta Hawks lead owner Tony Ressler.

Atlanta police said Mitchell Street at Ted Turner Drive, Forsyth Street at Nelson Street, Martin Luther King Jr. Drive at Ted Turner Drive, and Ted Turner Drive at Trinity Avenue are closed due to the fire.


No other details have been released, and an investigation into the fire is ongoing.

— Staff writer J. Scott Trubey contributed to this article.

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