Fire investigators were searching filmmaker Tyler Perry’s Atlanta studio for clues to what caused a 4-alarm fire that damaged one of the buildings at the 30-acre complex. “The fire’s out, but the cause remains under investigation,” Atlanta Fire Department Capt. Jolyon Bundrige told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution early Wednesday.
No injuries were reported after the fire was extinguished, but the affected building suffered damage to its façade, although its structural integrity remained intact. The blaze was first reported at about 8:41 p.m., and as many as 100 firefighters responded to it. Before long, the intensity of the flames elevated the call to four alarms.
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Perry talked to fire officials at the complex, but did not answer reporters questions about the incident; nor did employees of his Tyler Perry Studios film company. The company released a statement in which Perry thanked firefighters for their quick response. “We are grateful that there were no injuries, and that 99 percent of the damage is limited to the backlot façade.”
“The building started popping. Whatever the fire was hitting, was blowing up,” Dorothy Ware, who lives in a building next to the complex, told the Journal-Constitution. There were plenty of sparks coming over here where we are.”
Perry — whose films include Diary of a Mad Black Woman, Why Did I Get Married? and his most recent Good Deeds — opened the 200,000-square-foot studio in 2008. It also houses five sound stages and a 400-seat theater in southwest Atlanta, according to its website.