August 27, 2012
ATLANTA (AP) — Investigators were trying Wednesday to find the cause of a fire that ripped through a simulated streetscape at Tyler Perry’s Atlanta studios, sending flames soaring into the night sky.
There were no reports of injuries from the blaze that began shortly before 9 p.m. Tuesday and burned through the exterior facade of a large building, Atlanta Fire Capt. Jolyon Bundrige said.
“It was all in flames,” Dorothy Ware, who lives in a high-rise apartment next door to the studio complex, told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Flames shot as high as nearby trees, which are about as high as a six-story building, Ware said.
“The building started popping,” Ware said. “Whatever the fire was hitting, was blowing up. There were plenty of sparks coming over here where we are.”
More than 100 firefighters responded to the four-alarm blaze.
The fire never reached inside the building because of its concrete masonry construction behind the facade. However, there was some water damage inside, Bundrige told The Associated Press Wednesday morning.
Perry — whose films include “Diary of a Mad Black Woman,” “Why Did I Get Married?” and “Daddy’s Little Girls” — was at the complex Tuesday night and spoke with Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran. A spokesman for the filmmaker didn’t immediately comment Tuesday evening.
The studio complex includes a 200,000-square-foot studio, five sound stages and a 400-seat theater in southwest Atlanta, according to its website.
The backlot street scene with simulated storefronts is known as “34th Street,” after the famous Christmas film “Miracle on 34th Street.”
The complex also includes a chapel, dining hall, gymnasium, an art department and a post-production facility where work on TV shows such as “Meet the Browns” was done.
In March, pop star Cee Lo performed for donors at a fundraiser for President Barack Obama at the studios.