State fire marshal explains I-85 fire investigation - CBS46 News

State fire marshal explains I-85 fire investigation

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(Source: WGCL) (Source: WGCL)

The state fire marshal says the initial fire under I-85 was set to a recliner-style chair and plastic shopping cart.

"I don't think anyone intended to take down an interstate," State Fire Marshal DeWayne Garriss said.

But that small fire then spread to spools of plastic conduit materials stored under the bridge for years by the Georgia Department of Transportation. The plastic melted, caught on fire and grew into the blaze that brought down I-85.

Some people question why this material was stored under the interstate.

"It's something that needed to be looked at years ago, putting stuff under the bridge and finding out stuff that shouldn't be there at all," says James Eaddy, a man who works near the bridge.

GDOT says storage of the material didn't violate any known policies. However, I did confirm the fire marshal is now reviewing those policies.

"We are currently trying to work with [GDOT] in that aspect, trying to understand what they have, what type of construction things they have stored near or under in that we are trying to make some recommendations," Garriss said.

That review is still underway.

A GDOT spokesperson said although they asked for the review, they had no other materials like this stored under any other bridges in the state.

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