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Historic, Shaquille O’Neal-owned Krispy Kreme in Atlanta gutted by fire

February 15, 2020; Chicago, Illinois, USA; NBA great Shaquille O'Neal during NBA All Star Saturday Night at United Center. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
February 15, 2020; Chicago, Illinois, USA; NBA great Shaquille O’Neal during NBA All Star Saturday Night at United Center. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

A historic Krispy Kreme store in midtown Atlanta owned by Shaquille O’Neal was destroyed by a fire early Wednesday.

Two employees were still inside the store at the time but they were able to escape unharmed. No one was injured in the blaze.

“It is not going to be open anytime soon,” fire spokesman Sgt. Cortez Stafford told the Atlanta Journal Constitution. “I would say it’s a total loss. The entire back half is burned.”

The store, bought by O’Neal in 2016, became one of the first stores to open outside of the company’s North Carolina headquarters in 1965. The shop also donated 150 boxes of donuts to Atlanta churches to help feed mourners who came to be part of Martin Luther King’s funeral in 1968.

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“I hope no one was hurt and we will bounce back better than ever,” O’Neal said in a statement.

Krispy Kreme Doughnut Corp. also issued a statement.

“We are working with authorities to assess the damage and are uncertain at this point how long the shop will be closed,” the statement read. “However, we plan to reopen the shop as soon as possible! In the meantime, our Ponce team members will continue to receive full pay while we identify and offer them roles at other area Krispy Kreme shops. As Shaq said, ‘We will bounce back better than ever!'”

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

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–Field Level Media