Three people are in custody in connection with the March 30 fire and subsequent collapse of an I-85 overpass in Buckhead, according to an official supervising the state fire marshal’s office.
“We have three individuals in custody that we believe are responsible for the fire on I-85,” said Jay Florence, deputy commissioner at the state Office of Insurance and Fire Safety, in a phone interview. He declined to give specifics about the cause of the fire and the details of the arrests, citing an ongoing investigation.
“We can’t get into a lot of the specifics right now,” Florence said. “I can tell you that we interviewed these individuals throughout the day, and it was those interviews which led to their arrests.”
One suspect, Basil Eleby, is charged with first-degree criminal damage to property, Florence said. Asked if that damage involved setting a fire, Florence said, “Yes, we believe that individual was the one responsible for lighting the fire.”
Eleby is not currently charged with arson, Florence said, but added that more charges are possible as the investigation continues.
The other suspects, Sophia Broner and Barry Thomas, are charged with criminal trespass. “We knew that they had been near the scene and interviewed the two of them, which led to subsequent interview of the third [suspect],” Florence said.
Florence said that, while the investigation is continuing, arson investigators currently are not seeking any other suspects.
The suspects were interviewed by the state fire marshal’s arson investigators and then taken into custody by Atlanta Police officers, Florence said. They are currently in the Atlanta city jail.