Man suspected in I-85 fire in Atlanta charged

This booking photo provided by the Fulton County Jail shows Basil Newman Eleby. Eleby, suspected of starting a raging fire that collapsed a portion of Interstate 85 a few miles north of downtown Atlanta has a court appearance scheduled. The Fulton County Sheriff's Office says Basil Eleby faces a felony charge of criminal damage to property and is scheduled for his first court appearance Saturday, April 1, 2017. (Fulton County Jail via AP)

ATLANTA (AP) – The man suspected of starting a raging fire that collapsed a portion of Interstate 85 a few miles north of downtown Atlanta has been charged with arson.

The Fulton County Sheriff’s Office says bond was set at $200,000 for 39-year-old Basil Eleby during a hearing Saturday.

He faces charges of first-degree arson and first-degree criminal damage to property. The arson charge is new. Eleby’s next court appearance is set for April 14.

Deputy Insurance Commissioner Jay Florence said Eleby was arrested Friday along with Sophia Bruner and Barry Thomas. Bruner and Thomas were charged with criminal trespass.

Eleby has a lengthy criminal history with past charges that include possession and sale of cocaine, criminal trespass and simple battery.

The fire on Thursday evening crippled a major traffic artery in a city already known for dreadful rush-hour congestion.

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