Barry Thomas says he witnessed the start of the I-85 bridge fire (Credit: Channel 2 Action News)

Second witness says he saw accused man set I-85 bridge fire

The second of two witnesses who were charged with criminal trespassing and released told Channel 2 Action News he saw Basil Eleby, who was charged with arson, set the I-85 bridge fire.

Attorney: Homeless man being “scapegoated” in fiery bridge collapse

Barry Thomas told Channel 2 he and Sophia Brauer are homeless and were under the bridge Thursday when a massive fire caused it to collapse.

The couple and Eleby were arrested Friday in connection with the fire, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution previously reported. 

Warrant: I-85 bridge fire suspect spoke of smoking crack before blaze


Thomas told the news station that Eleby was under the bridge to smoke crack and he saw him put a chair on top of a shopping cart, reach under and set it on fire. 

"I said, if he smokes crack, he's probably crazy," Thomas said.  

Thomas said he didn’t think much about it until he looked back and saw white smoke coming off the chair. Then, he said he got scared and ran away.

Channel 2's Mark Winne reports.

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