Basil Eleby, suspect in I-85 fire, has bonded out of jail

ATLANTA — The man accused of causing the fire that brought down a portion of Interstate 85 walked out jail Wednesday afternoon.

A judge granted $10,000 bond for Basil Eleby Tuesday with conditions he stays 1,000 feet away from the scene of the fire and remain in drug treatment.

Just after 1 p.m. Wednesday, Eleby left the Fulton County Jail.

Eleby also has to be gainfully employed and submit to random drug testing.


Police said Eleby set fire to an upholstered chair, which ignited materials under I-85. A case warrant said that he told police he went under the bridge to smoke crack cocaine.

Channel 2's Tom Regan learned his supporters have setup a website for his defense.

Police said Eleby was homeless when he set the fire that spread and brought down the part of the elevated  roadway.

After spending 20 days in jail, Regan said Eleby looked happy and relaxed heading into the parking lot, but he was not offering any answers or explanations.

Eleby’s attorneys called him a scapegoat for mistakes made by GDOT, in storing flammable materials under an overpass known as haven for the homeless.

Supporters of the accused man have also set up this website, urging the district attorney to throw out Eleby's case. It also urges support for homeless facilities.
Eleby's next stop after leaving jail is a halfway house, where he will receive treatment to get off drugs.

“He is grateful, and he appreciates all the attention, but right now, he's looking forward to getting setup with Micheal and his program,” Reginald Muhammed Davis said with Bozeman Law firm.

He's pleaded not guilty to the charges against him.