Three Arrested For I-85 Fire


Mike Finnegan

Three suspects were arrested on Friday in connection with a fire that broke out under an I-85 overpass just north of downtown Atlanta this past Thursday. No persons were injured during the fire and eventual collapse of the overpass, but the 350 feet of pavement will need to be replaced on a road that normally hosts 400,000 vehicles a day.

Basil Eleby is the only person suspected to have lit the fire. Eleby has been charged with arson in the first degree and criminal damage to property in the first degree and is being held on a $200,000 bond. Eleby has been arrested nearly 20 times.

The two other suspects, who are only charged with trespassing, are Sophia Brauer and Barry Thomas.

According to, Georgia Transportation Commissioner Russell McMurry said the roadwork will take months to complete, but could not give a specific time estimate. The Georgia Department of Transportation has already allotted an initial $10 million to the rebuilding of the collapsed roadway.

For now, the MARTA, Atlanta’s transit authority, has stepped up rail service with more staff on hand to help the many commuters of Atlanta’s 
northern suburbs.