Arrests--3 people were arrested Friday night, stated the Atlanta Fire Rescue Department. Authorities believe one of the suspects started the fire intentionally. Fire department spokesman Cortez Stafford said two men and one woman were arrested. Georgia Deputy Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner Jay Florence who identified one suspect as Basil Eleby who was arrested on suspicion of first-degree criminal damage to property. If convicted, he faces one to 10 years in prison. Also identified were Sophia Bruner and Barry Thomas who face criminal trespassing charges.
Why did the northbound side fall? The fire weakened the structure causing it to fall.
Why both sides of I-85 closed? The fire severely damaged the southbound side, and must be repaired.
What caused the fire? Firefighters still do not known what started the fire. What we do know---State Department of Transportation Commissioner Russell McMurry said.---the fire was started in a construction supplies storage area that was fenced in. The area is where the state stores construction materials and supplies near the overpass. Coils of high-density polyethylene pipes "traffic management, cabling, fiber-optic and wire network." The material had been stored in the area "for some time, probably since 2006 or -7,"
Repairs time? Georgia Department of Transportation Commissioner Russell McMurry stated it will take "at least several months" to rebuild the collapsed and damaged portions of I-85.
There are 3 parts to the north bound lane. That includes the section that had collapsed. Also the 3 south bound sections of overpass that were damaged. McMurry said at least 350 feet of Interstate 85 northbound and southbound will have to be replaced.
Tony Radoszewski, president of the Plastics Pipe Institute, Irving, Texas. Radoszewski explained flammability of HDPE is relatively low. For HDPE materials burn, they would have to be exposed to a high temperature flame for a considerable amount of time.
EPA spokesman Larry Lincoln stated, The Environmental Protection Agency took samples of the air and of the water in a nearby creek; results will be available in about two weeks.