Firefighters investigating fire that destroyed Krispy Kreme as arson

ATLANTA — Firefighters say they are investigating the fire that destroyed Atlanta’s iconic Krispy Kreme Doughnuts store as an arson.

The store on Ponce de Leon Ave. burned shortly after midnight on Feb. 10.

Fire investigators say they believe the fire was intentionally set to the exterior of the building but quickly spread inside. It’s unclear what kind of accelerant was used to spark the blaze.

Channel 2′s Tom Regan was outside the store, where the fire caused catastrophic damage, gutting the beloved community landmark.

Tina Leftwhich runs another iconic shop just a few blocks from Krispy Kreme, Mary Mac’s Tea Room

“It’s a sad situation to see such a historic place go down in flames and someone intentionally did it,” Leftwhich said. “With older buildings, I just assumed it would be something electrical, but to hear it was intentionally set, that’s really heartbreaking.”

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Atlanta Fire Rescue Department Investigators are asking for the public’s help in identifying a person seen in surveillance footage outside the store.

A motive for the arson is unclear.

Regan learned that police have video of the man which they have not released yet.

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The store has been at the site for more than 60 years. After Martin Luther King Jr.’s funeral in April 1968, the Krispy Kreme fed mourners by donating 150 dozen donuts to Atlanta churches.

Shaquille O’Neal, who owns the store, has promised to rebuild.

There is a reward of up to $10,000 for the arrest and conviction of the arsonist. Anyone with information is asked to call the Georgia Arson Control Hotline at 1-800-282-5804.

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