The structure of a large building at filmmaker Tyler Perry’s studio is fine after part of it caught fire, sending flames into the night sky, authorities said. There were no reports of injuries from the blaze that began shortly before 9 p.m. Tuesday and burned through the building’s exterior surface, Atlanta Fire Capt. Jolyon Bundrige said.
“It was all in flames,” Dorothy Ware, who lives in a high-rise apartment next door to the studio complex, told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Flames shot as high as nearby trees, which are about as high as a six-story building, Ware said.
“The building started popping,” Ware said. “Whatever the fire was hitting, was blowing up. There were plenty of sparks coming over here where we are.”
More than 100 firefighters responded to the blaze, and they were able to limit the damage because the building is broken up into sections, Bundrige told WSB-TV.
The cause of the four-alarm blaze and the amount of damage to the complex was not immediately known.
Perry – whose films include Diary of a Mad Black Woman, Why Did I Get Married? and Daddy’s Little Girls – was at the complex Tuesday night and spoke with Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran, Bundrige said. A spokesman for the filmmaker didn’t immediately comment Tuesday evening.
The studio complex includes a 200,000-square-foot studio, five sound stages and a 400-seat theater in southwest Atlanta, according to its website. It also includes a chapel, dining hall, gymnasium and a five-acre pond on the grounds.
A back lot for filming known as “34th Street” – its name inspired by the film Miracle on 34th Street – includes a recreated street scene with storefronts, Perry says in a video tour posted on his website. The complex also includes an art department, where sets for shows are designed, according to the website. It also includes a post-production facility where work on TV shows such as Meet the Browns was done.
In March, pop star Cee Lo performed for donors at a fundraiser for President Barack Obama at the studios.