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Atlanta firefighters battle blaze at historic, abandoned dormitory

Firefighters used defensive operations at another fire in the former Morris Brown College dormitory

By Lexi Baker
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

ATLANTA — A former Morris Brown College dormitory caught on fire Thursday morning, officials said, the second time in the past 16 months that a blaze tore through the historic building.

Crews arrived just before 8 a.m. and used a defensive attack to put out the fire at the building, formerly Gaines Hall , which is located just off Northside Drive at Martin Luther King Jr. Drive , according to Atlanta Fire Rescue .

No injuries were reported. The cause of the fire is unknown at this time, pending an investigation, officials said.

In 2015, a two-alarm fire caused damage to the building. A second fire in February 2023 then caused significant damage. Following the first, investigators said the building needed to be demolished, but it has remained empty since then, according to Channel 2 Action News.

Part of the Atlanta University Center Historic District, the building was built in 1869 and designed by William Parkins, according to the Atlanta Preservation Center. After a 2017 court ruling, it changed hands from Morris Brown to Clark Atlanta University.

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