I-85 fire suspect indicted on multiple charges

Basil Eleby

ATLANTA — A man accused of starting a fire that led to the collapse of Interstate 85 has been indicted on multiple charges.

Basil Eleby, 39, has been indicted on charges of arson and first degree damage to property, according to the Fulton County District Attorney's office.

The Atlanta Fire and Rescue department responded to a fire burning underneath the I-85 bridge on Piedmont Road on March 31.

After the fire was extinguished, the fire department conducted interviews with Sophia Brauer, 39, and Barry Thomas, 57. They said they saw Eleby put a chair in a shopping cart and set it on fire.


Investigators concluded that the initial fire led to the collapse of the I-85 bridge.

They located Eleby and discovered that he had consumed drugs underneath the bridge prior to the incident.

Eleby was arrested. Brauer and Thomas were cited for misdemeanor criminal trespass.

Eleby could face 25 years in prison and up to a $50,000 fine.