Three Arrested for Starting Massive Fire on Atlanta Interstate Bridge

Associated Press
Associated Press

Three people were arrested Friday in connection with a massive fire under a bridge on Interstate 85 in Atlanta that caused part of the bridge to collapse.

Deputy Insurance Commissioner Jay Florence said Basil Eleby, Sophia Bruner, and Barry Thomas were the three suspects arrested, the Daily Mail reported.

Eleby, whom Florence believes started the fire, faces a charge of criminal damage to property. Bruner and Thomas each face charges of criminal trespass.

“We believe they were together when the fire was set and Eleby is the one who set the fire,” Florence told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Florence did not release details of how or why the fire was started, saying that those details would be released as the investigation continues.

He said the suspects may have used “available materials” at the site and added that all three suspects may have been homeless.

Crews worked to restore the bridge Thursday after the blaze caused it to collapse during rush hour. Nobody was injured despite the large clouds of smoke and flames that filled the air.

Officials say reconstruction of the damaged section of the bridge could take several months, causing the 225,000 commuters who use that section of the highway daily a traffic nightmare.