< There is no fireproof hotel.
Building Control
Fire Safety
Your friend in indoor comfort & safety systems
Home Company Services Case Studies References Agencies Daikin-Vrv Handbook Fires / Hotels AskHvacMan Links Save Energy Contact Us
Fires &
Fire ABCs
Some Fire Cases
Fire Books

Big Hotel Fires

Fire Safety
Hotel Fire Case
How to Survive
Big Hotel Fires
Hotel Fire Cases
Fire Hazard Classification
Hotel Sprinkler Systems

Hotel Fire News

Special Fires
Hotel Fires
Ship Fires
Industrial Fires
Hospital Fires
Warehouse Fires

Restaurant/Nightclub Discotheque-Fires

High Rise Fires
Airport Fires
Fires ABC
Big Building Fires
Book About Fires
Fire Stats
Fire Board

Books About Fires

Fire Exit Systems
Software About Fires
Fire Sprinkler Software
Fire Egreess Software
Fire Modelling Software
What is Fire Sprinkler
Success Stories
Sprinkler Manufacturers
Fire Pump Manufacturers
Standar for Sprinkler Systems
Sprinklered Hotels

Books About Sprinkler

Public Entry
Recration Areas
 Retail Areas
 Function Spaces
Foods & Beverage
Mechanic Systems
Fire Protection
Site Development
Atlanta, Georgia: Winecoff Hotel ,it was advertised as a "fireproof" hotel.

The Winecoff Hotel, at 15 stories, was the tallest hotel in Atlanta, Georgia. Constructed of masonry, it was advertised as a "fireproof" hotel. It had a central-spiral staircase and an elevator that was under the control of an operator.

On December 7, 1946, this hotel experienced a fire so devastating that, to this day, it is considered one of the deadliest fires in North America. Of the 280 occupants, 119 died. To this day, questions surround the origin of the fire that engulfed the building.

The fire is believed to have started on the third floor. At first, it was believed to be an accidental fire, possibly due to careless smoking. But in 1995, the sons of two reporters who were covering the fire for an Atlanta newspaper, published a book, which introduced the theory of arson

For over two and a half hours, fire departments from all across northern Georgia fought the blaze. A number of people died in the fire, as well as many people who jumped to their deaths. At the time of the fire, the building lacked fire escapes, fire doors, and automatic fire sprinklers.

As a result of the fire, within days fire codes were upgraded across the country. In Georgia alone, the 1948 Building Exits Code was adopted by the Georgia State Legislature to ensure that people could escape buildings in the event of a fire

Updated:Saturday, July 15, 2006

Marred by deadly disaster, Atlanta hotel gets new life

From the street, the old Winecoff Hotel looks like any number of weathered downtown properties vying to reinvent itself in the midst of the city's tourism boom.

The once-luxurious hotel has been vacant for 24 years, having a tattered existence after a 1946 fire in the building killed 119 people, the deadliest hotel fire in U.S. history and one that helped forever change fire codes across the country.

But developers now are renovating the 15-story structure into a 127-room boutique hotel that will be renamed The Ellis, after one of the streets the hotel stands on. It's planned to open in June of next year and will preserve much of the Winecoff's former glory and look _ but not its name. "We definitely want to be sufficiently reverent to history but it's one that's now haunted by its history of a disaster."

"It's obviously a conundrum," said Susan Griffin, a member of Kelco/FB Winecoff LLC, a real estate group based in New York City that's renovating the hotel.


Built nearly 50 years after Union Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman burned Atlanta to the ground during the Civil War, the Winecoff Hotel represented a measure of sophistication for the rebuilding city, said Sam Heys, co-author of the 1993 book "The Winecoff Fire."

"When it was built in 1913, it was probably the premier hotel in Atlanta," Heys said. "It was a great source of pride for the city."

The hotel lacked the fire-safety measures now common in public buildings, such as sprinkler systems and corner stairwells or other fire escapes. The $24 million renovation project, of course, will be complete with those modern safety devices.

"It's amazing to me that the hotel was able to go with such archaic fire safety from then to 1946," Griffin said, referring to the building's first 33 years. "I'd say you could call that lucky."

On the night of Dec. 6, 1946, the hotel was full with 280 people. The end of World War II had brought American soldiers home to growing cities like Atlanta that didn't have the extra housing to accommodate them yet.

"In 1946, Atlanta was a city that was busting at its seams," Heys said. "The hotels in the city in December 1946 were just full. Some people were having to live in the hotels week by week trying to find an apartment."

The fire started just after midnight on Dec. 7, 1946, in the west hallway of the third floor. Officially listed as a fire of "unknown origin," Heys and co-author Allen B. Goodwin suspect it was caused by arson because the fire quickly spread with unnatural speed to the east hallway two floors up.

Smoke inhalation was blamed for most of the deaths. Others died from falling or jumping out of windows to escape the flames and smoke, Heys said.

Janet Cox's mother, Dorothy, survived her seven-story jump from the building. A 16-year-old high school student from Columbus who was staying at the hotel while participating in a state YMCA mock legislature, Dorothy Mowen Cox leapt from her room when the flames got too close. Among those killed in the fire were 30 of the high school students.

The teenager landed on top of a two-story building next to the Winecoff. She lost her teeth and broke her jaw, pelvis and legs. She had complications from her injuries the rest of her life.

"My mom was not supposed to be able to have children. She would have nightmares once she got home about getting out of her room _ she lived in a two-story home. She was frightened about it," said Cox, whose mother died three years ago.

The Winecoff fire _ combined with two other deadly fires earlier in 1946, in Illinois and Iowa _ led officials to create model documents that cities could use for fire safety, said Casey Grant, assistant chief engineer for the National Fire Protection Association.

Those new codes included required sprinklers and multiple exits and bans on flammable materials in buildings.

"The Winecoff was part of the string of fires that really helped be a catalyst for the public conscience to help these changes occur," Grant said. "The hotel industry has really taken it upon themselves. They've really made sure that collectively, hotels are among the safest places to stay, at least the big chain hotels."

After the fire, the hotel reopened in 1949 as The Peachtree. In 1967, as brand-new luxury hotels gained prominence in downtown Atlanta, The Peachtree closed and its owners sold the building to the Georgia Baptist Association. That group used the building for 15 more years as a senior citizens' home, until it was closed in 1982.

Since then, there have been many plans for the building that ultimately never materialized. Heys said this latest plan likely will give new life to the property.

Cox said her family is supportive of the new plans for the old hotel because her mother would have approved.

"She would have been very glad to have seen it," she said. "I think she would be happy that it would be something else, another hotel even."

Remembering America's deadliest hotel fire on its sixtieth anniversary
Back to Hotel Fires
Air Grilles
Air Diffusers
Air Quailty
All Air Systems
All Water Systems
Building .Managament Systems ..BMS
Cooling Towers
Cooling Load Calculation
Energy Saving
Duct ,Smacna
Dampers ,Air
Dust Collection
Fire Dampers
Glass Selection
Heat Exchangers,water
Heat Recovery
Heat Tracing Systems
Hepa Filters
Hvac Applications
Humidifiers / Dehumidifiers
Insulation , Duct
Insulation , Pipe
Insulation , Sound
Nano Tech.,In Building
Occupancy Sensors
Pneumatic Conveying
Pool Ventilation
Process Piping
Radiant Heating
Refrigerant Systems
Solar Collectors
Steam Generation
Tables & Charts Gnr.
VAV Sytems
VRV Systems