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Landmark Krispy Kreme in Atlanta owned by Shaquille O’Neal catches fire

A historic Krispy Kreme located in Atlanta and owned by NBA Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal caught fire early Wednesday morning, leaving the structure that originally opened in 1965 badly damaged.

Located in Midtown, the Krispy Kreme has been in operation for more than 60 years and was one of the company’s first outposts outside its main bases of operations in Winston-Salem, N.C., and Nashville, Tenn.

No injuries were reported and the cause of the fire is under investigation, according to Battalion Chief Douglas Hatcher. Most of the building was saved, Hatcher said, after fire department crews arrived on the scene shortly after midnight.

Images and video surfacing on social media document the extent of how the landmark building was left severely damaged by the blaze.

The Krispy Kreme is a beloved and cherished institution in Atlanta, with many notable connections to the city’s history.

The donut shop’s role in Atlanta history and strong ties to the community includes how the outpost donated 150 dozen donuts to local churches so thousands of mourners in town for Martin Luther King, Jr.’s funeral in April 1968 could be fed.

O’Neal, who purchased the Krispy Kreme in 2016, issued a statement regarding the devastating fire.

“I hope no one was hurt and we will bounce back better than ever,” O’Neal told 11Alive’s Francesca Amiker.