Explosive Exclusive: 78 never-before-seen photos of the Kopper Kettle explosion of 1978

This is the second post in a three-part series commemorating the 33rd anniversary of the day the Kopper Kettle blew up (and celebrating the scores of injuries and deaths that miraculously did not occur — remember the song ‘The Kettle’s Gone’? What about the t-shirts? Click here. Oh, and now we have video.).

On Sunday morning, January 15, 1978, several businesses on East Magnolia Ave in downtown Auburn were destroyed in an explosion caused by a natural gas leak beneath the restaurant. More than 70 businesses in the immediate vicinity were damaged . Downtown looked like a war zone. The event made national news. It was a big deal.

If your scrolling finger is limber enough, here are 78 photos – most of which have never been seen until now – taken in the immediate aftermath of the blast by former Opelika-Auburn News photographer Brad Ashmore. Can you help us put names to faces? Rubble to places? Do you have any stories from that day?

We’d love to hear them.


(And if you’d like to help us keep the obsession with Auburn lore unhealthy and the lights on through the winter, click here.)

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