Cause of fire at Tyler Perry Studios undetermined - FOX Carolina 21

Cause of fire at Tyler Perry Studios undetermined

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ATLANTA (CBS ATLANTA) -

CBS Atlanta News has exclusive home video of a massive fire that drew more than 100 firefighters to the Tyler Perry Studios late Tuesday night.

Movie mogul Tyler Perry built his 200,000-square-foot studios in 2008 on Continental Colony Parkway in southwest Atlanta.

Atlanta fire officials said they received the first 911 call about the fire at 8:41 p.m.

That's about the time Russell Evans heard an explosion and grabbed his video camera. He lives in an apartment complex across the street.

"I started filming the fire and the explosion," said Evans. "I thought the tower where senior citizens live at was on fire. I found out it was Tyler Perry Studio."

Responding firefighters upgraded the fire to three alarms. A few minutes later, a fourth alarm was called due to the size and location of the blaze, according to Atlanta Fire Captain J. L. Bundrige. Fire officials sent 13 fire engines and 12 ladder trucks to the scene, along with a variety of other emergency vehicles.

Atlanta fire officials initially said multiple buildings were engulfed in flames when they arrived. Once they extinguished the flames, they determined that the center section of one large building was burning.

"A regular sprinkler system could not put that fire out," said Evans. "It was so engulfed. It (seemed like) daylight out here. The fire was so red, like a big red glow."

Evans said he thought the entire building would explode.

"I heard an explosion, several explosions. Boom! Boom! Boom! Rapid explosions, so I thought it was a chemical fire," said Evans.

Bundrige said it took firefighters about an hour to get the fire under control.

Tyler Perry Studios released this statement:

"Atlanta firefighters responded immediately to a fire which damaged the backlot façade of one of the buildings at Tyler Perry Studios in Atlanta. We are grateful that there were no injuries, and that 99 percent of the damage is limited to the backlot facade. Mr. Perry wishes to express his heartfelt thanks to the Atlanta fire department for their professionalism in their quick response and limiting the damage."

Fire officials on the scene said there were no reported injuries.

Due to the concrete masonry construction behind the exterior fascia, the fire did not penetrate the interior of the building, fire officials said. However, the interior suffered some water damage.

Fire officials said the cause of the fire was ruled undetermined. The intensity of the fire in the area of origin consumed any evidence that would lead to a cause of ignition.

Check back with www.CBSAtlanta.com for updates on this developing story.

Copyright 2012 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation).  All rights reserved.

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