ATLANTA - A Tyler Perry spokesperson is speaking out after a massive fire damaged part of the director's southwest Atlanta studio.
Firefighters are still checking for hot spots from a four-alarm
Nearly 100 firefighters were called out to the complex off of Continental Colony Parkway around 9 p.m. Tuesday.
Investigators said they believe the fire began at a four-story sound stage, which was severely damaged.
"We are grateful that there were no injuries, and that 99 percent of the damage is limited to the backlot facade," the e-mailed statement from publicist Carolyn Merrell read. "Mr. Perry wishes to express his heartfelt thanks to the Atlanta fire department for their professionalism in their quick response and limiting the damage."
There were initial reports that the sound stage had partially collapsed, but the fire was limited to the front fascia of the building. The structural integrity of the building is intact.
No one was in the building at the time and no one was injured in the fire.
Perry was at the complex Tuesday night and spoke with Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran, Bundrige said. Perry did not speak to reporters gathered nearby.
"(I was) just riding past and just saw flames coming from the building and heard stuff breaking and stuff like that," witness Elijah Orengo said.
By 10 p.m., the flames were extinguished but firefighters continue to battle hot spots.
The multimillion-dollar facility sits on 30 acres in southwest Atlanta. The studio opened in October 2008.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.
Senior citizens evacuated from nearby high-rise
Tuesday night's fire forced dozens of senior citizens out of their assisted living facility.
Residents of the Asbury Harris Epworth Towers said security evacuated everyone from the building for more than an hour while crews worked to extinguish the fire next door.
"We didn't know if something was going to blow up, you know, because we heard a lot of popping and you could see sparks all up in the air -- sparks just going way up. Some looked like they were about to land on the building," evacuee Hassan Raheem said.
No one was injured during the hectic evacuation. Aside from the smell of smoke, the assisted living facility was not damaged.