Former Gibson building downtown catches fire

(Source: WMC Action News 5)
(Source: WMC Action News 5)(WMC Action News 5)
Updated: May. 7, 2019 at 1:27 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - The former home of Gibson Guitars in Downtown Memphis caught fire Tuesday afternoon.

Fire crews were called to the building on B.B. King Boulevard near 1 p.m.

The building is the future home of FedEx Logistics. They plan on moving in in April 2020.

The damaged area was already set to be demolished next week.

The building’s owner, Benjamin Orgel, says contractors hired by Gibson Guitars were using a grinder to remove equipment from inside the paint room.

A spark from the grinder hit a paint machine that’s used to paint guitars, and ignited the fire.

“It was being renovated on the inside. Gibson Guitar is transitioning out of the building and FedEx is preparing to come in. But there was several contractors in the building at the time of this incident,” said Leutiant Wayne Cooke with the Memphis Fire Department.

There were about 30 people inside the building working when the fire started.

Fire crews were able to control the fire in about 16 minutes.

But the burning paint created a smoky building causing one person to be taken to the hospital for smoke inhalation.

The official cause of the fire remains under investigation.

Copyright 2019 WMC. All rights reserved.