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Saturday, December 31, 2016

An Ellis Hotel Visitor Writes

Dear Allen,

Your book arrived in the mail yesterday and I am well into it. In my eagerness to acquire more information about the fire, I didn't even take note that I had ordered it from an author! Only when I opened the book and saw the signature AND the date, did I realize it was from you!

 My only connection to the fire is that my wife and I just spent the better part of the week of Dec. 12 at the Ellis Hotel, room 1110. While touring the Georgia Capitol, we saw an exhibit regarding the Winecoff fire and a photo of a survivor, etc. While I was in high school, I participated in a similar mock government experience as some of the victims.

I had never heard of the Winecoff fire and was a bit disappointed in myself that I hadn't. After being at the Ellis several days, I happened to swing around the corner of the building to read the plaque on the south side. Holy crap, THIS was the Winecoff! I then had a very enlightening conversation with one of the managers (I believe). He did seem a bit concerned that I felt safe. I did.

Regardless, it's a tragic story, but it served as motivation to build structures smarter. My thanks to you for preserving this story and committing to the task. This involves time and work and should be acknowledged. I am greatly enjoying this book and already recommending it to friends.

Ric Frambach

Dear Ric,

Thanks for writing. The Ellis Hotel is rigged out with all the latest fire safety technology today. But in 1946 there were no fire escapes, no fire alarms and no sprinklers. The hotel's operators are well aware of the building's history as are the men and women of the Atlanta Fire Rescue Department. Everyone minds their Ps & Qs during routine inspections. No one cuts any corners.

It's amazing and heartening really, seventy years after the Winecoff fire, those responsible for fire safety there today are so inspired to do their best.

All best,

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