Suspect In Atlanta Bridge Fire Could Face Federal Charges

There is currently a suspect in custody regarding last week’s highway fire on Atlanta’s I-85. Basil Eleby, 39, is a homeless man who last Saturday was charged with first-degree arson and a felony charge of criminal damage to property.

Eleby reportedly told the Atlanta Fire Rescue Department and the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives that he met two other people, Barry Thomas and Sophia Brauer, who have been charged with their connection in the fire, under the bridge around 4 PM and they “discussed smoking crack cocaine together.

The affidavit from the fire department lieutenant says Eleby eventually chose to “consume the drugs by himself” and “left the area before the fire started.” Eleby is in the Fulton County jail on $200, 000 bail and his next court appearance is scheduled for April 14 where he could possibly face federal charges.

ATF Assistant Special-Agent-in-Charge James Deir told Atlanta’s WSB-TV, “e’re in the process of reviewing the evidence and the facts of this investigation. This investigation will be presented to the United States attorney’s office in the immediate future with regards to a determination whether or not federal charges will be filed.”

Many believe charging Eleby with this crime holds no proof especially due to all the flammable things that had been stored under the I-85 highway overpass bridge for many years.