Fortunately, the tree collapsed prior to the store’s opening and, according to Goff, no employees or customers were harmed.
The incident was the second mishap in three years involving the icnonic tree.
In 2011, the trunk of a 60-foot white pine tree cracked before it could be hoisted to the top of the store and a back-up tree had to be cut down and delivered.
The lighting of the tree is a Thanksgiving Day tradition in Atlanta dating back 64 years, when it was first erected atop the downtown Rich’s department store.
—Staff photographer John Spink and staff writer Mike Morris contributed to this article.