Wednesday, May 02, 2018

And Then There Were None

Chief R. B. Sprayberry, Chet Wallace & Allen B. Goodwin in 2015
The last living Winecoff fire firefighter has died: R. B. Sprayberry, 95. A career Atlanta firefighter, he rose to become chief of the department 34 years after fighting the Winecoff Hotel Fire.

On December 7, 1946 Sprayberry was dispatched from Fire Station 12 on the second of four alarms. He was sent to work the back side of the hotel but eventually found himself on the Peachtree Street side and then into the building. Many were rescued.

In 2011 he was among four living Winecoff firefighters honored at a luncheon commemorating the fire's 65th anniversary. Now the last of the Winecoff fire heroes are gone.

He told an interviewer in 2011, "When you get my age (89) you remember some and you don't remember some but I'll remember the Winecoff. I was just a fireman at that time but I'll go to my grave knowing about it."