Shaquille O'Neal's Historic Krispy Kreme Store in Atlanta Catches Fire

A Krispy Kreme store owned by NBA legend Shaquille O'Neal caught on fire on Wednesday, damaging the structure, according to the Associated Press. Fire crews in Atlanta responded to the historic restaurant on Ponce De Leon Avenue shortly after midnight. O'Neal posted a video of the store being engulfed in flames on his Instagram account.

"Hope no one was injured," O'Neal wrote on Instagram. "But we will be back stronger than ever." It was reported the firefighters saved most of the building after the fired started in the back. No injuries were reported and an investigation is underway. O'Neal's Krispy Kreme opened in 1965. It was one of the first stores outside the company's main locations in Winston-Salem, North Carolina and Nashville, Tennessee. The Midtown Krispy Kreme is a well-known landmark in the area and reportedly supplied 150 dozen doughnuts in 1968 to churches to thousands of mourners who took part in Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s funeral procession.

O'Neal, who is a global spokesperson from Krispy Kreme, bought the store in 2016. "Krispy Kreme prides itself on spreading joy and supporting local communities, and that's a cause that I am thrilled to be a part of," O'Neal told WXIA in Atlanta shortly after the purchase. "Our goal is to help people find their happy place, and what better way than with a box of delicious Krispy Kreme doughnuts."

Tony Thompson, the president and CEO of Krispy Kreme Doughnuts is happy to have Shaq part of the team. "In addition to Shaquille's status as a sports and entertainment icon and businessman, he is known for spreading joy, which aligns with our positioning and mission, Thompson said in a statement. "We are confident this partnership will have a big impact for us in Atlanta and around the world."


Shortly after O'Neal's statement on the fire. Krispy Kreme gave an update on the situation. The company said that it is "thankful" the no one was injured during the fire. Krispy Kreme also thanked the local authorities for their "rapid response" and are also working with them to "assess the damage." Krispy Kreme is uncertain on when the store will re-open.