Address mix-up causes fire at Atlanta music landmark

Posted at 7:29 AM, Sep 07, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-07 09:29:04-04

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    CHAMBLEE, GA (WGCL) — He was known as Mr. Atlanta music, and the stretch outside his old recording studio is still named for the late legendary producer.

Bill Lowery’s son, Butch, showed us the damage from a fire that kept Clairmont Road between Brookhaven and Chamblee closed for hours Wednesday, Aug. 29.

The Dekalb County Fire Department put it out as quickly as they could, but the home of Southern Tracks Records is now a disaster zone.

“Our first hit was a thing called Be-Bop-A-Lula by Gene Vincent back in 1956,” remembered Butch Lowery, “And then the following year, we had Young Love, which was the number one hit all over the world. They’ve done Stone Temple Pilots, Pearl Jam, Bruce Springsteen, Elton John did some work here. The list goes on and on and on.”

Butch Lowery says the historic studio, which has been vacant for years, is now coated in ashes because of what looks like an address mix-up. Someone trying to start service at a different address may have mistakenly sent Georgia Power to the music studio campus, which wasn’t ready to receive electricity.

“Why would Georgia Power come out here with nothing but a deposit and say, ‘Hey, We’re going to light this place up’?” asked Lowery.

We took that question to Georgia Power, and they say, it’s true. People don’t need to provide proof that they are associated with a property to turn on new service. All anyone needs is an online credit check and payment. The company spokesperson says it’s purposely done that way to make things easier on customers facing hard times, and their Good Samaritan benefactors.

“People get behind on their bills, and we don’t want to make the process so arduous that I can’t pay your bill if you were in a tough spot,” explained Georgia Power representative, Craig Bell.

In Georgia Power’s defense, this is a very unlucky situation. Even if address mix-ups do occur often, not many buildings are at risk of burning from simply turning on the electricity.

Neither the Lowery family nor Georgia Power have successfully tracked down the person whose name appears in the online form to restore utilities, but Butch Lowery said it is not a name he recognizes.

Lowery says Georgia Power apologized for the misunderstanding and, right now, they are helping him board up the building to secure the damaged area.

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