DeKalb firefighters Friday were trying to determine what caused a predawn fire at the old Atlanta Prison Farm.
Deputy Chief Norman Augustin told The Atlanta Journal Constitution that firefighters found heavy smoke and flames when they arrived.
Crews entered the abandoned structure at 1407 Key Road to make sure nobody was trapped inside, then retreated to hose the building from the outside as the fuel inside burned out, Capt. Eric Jackson said.
“The fire was quickly contained,” Augustin said.
The department, he said, has responded to an average of two or three fires a year at the old Atlanta Prison Farm, which has no electricity and no gas. Five years ago this month, the roof of the abandoned structure caught fire.
Friday’s fire was near the center of the building where the roof collapsed during the October 2009 fire.
Firefighters suspect the latest fire may have been the product of vagrants camping in the structure, Jackson told The AJC.
“I’ve been there several times on some pretty big fires,” he said. “I don’t know how much more you can burn an old prison down between the walls and the bars.”
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