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Dyana Bagby Posted by on April 18, 2017.

Investigation underway into fire under Buford Highway bridge

A fire under a bridge that forced the temporary shutdown of Buford Highway in both directions late Monday night is being investigated.

Capt. Eric Jackson of  the DeKalb Fire Department said in a phone interview April 17 that a fire broke out under the Peachtree Creek bridge between 2800 Buford Highway and North Druid Hills about 9:30 p.m.

“We don’t know how it started … nor do we know who did it,” Jackson said.

Jackson said fire investigators were called to the scene. An encampment under the bridge caught fire, he said.

“Someone was staying under the bridge and where they stayed caught on fire,” he said.

The scene on Buford Highway late April 17 after a fire under the Peachtree Creek bridge forced the road closure in both directions for more than two hours. (Brookhaven Police Department)

The Brookhaven Police Department reported on its Facebook page the “fire started in the mattress of a homeless person who sought shelter under the bridge” and added “there is no indication this fire was intentional.”

After arriving on the scene, the fire department determined there was “significant damage to the bridge,” Jackson said, and the Brookhaven Police Department closed the highway for about two hours. At about 11:45 p.m., the Department of Transportation deemed the bridge safe and Buford Highway was reopened to traffic, Jackson said.

On March 30, a massive fire caused the I-85 bridge near Piedmont Road in Buckhead to collapse and its current reconstruction is causing headaches for thousands of motorists as well as businesses.