President Donald Trump recently invited to the White House the Atlanta first responders who bravely battled the I-85 blaze that crippled and collapsed an elevated portion of the widely-used Georgia interstate.
While meeting in the White House’s Roosevelt Room, President Trump praised the firefighters that battled hard against the blaze, reports CNN:
“That was something. The whole world was watching that one. Our brave firefighters battled 40-foot flames, which was incredible.”
Luckily, no one was killed or injured in the fire, but it did cause millions of dollars in damage. The president did find the blaze to be pretty impressive, though (emphasis added):
“What was the reason for those flames? It was something underneath that was very combustible? Those flames were amazing,”
President Trump praised the first responders, which included Atlanta Fire Chief Joel Baker and many others:
“They pulled back…just minutes before the bridge itself collapsed, and everybody was safe. That was an amazing thing, and everybody was watching. Your skill and courage saved many lives, and represented true strength and the true strength of America.”
It was a great honor to welcome Atlanta's heroic first responders to the White House this afternoon! pic.twitter.com/ZtC14AJ0xs
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 13, 2017
Three were arrested in connection to the costly blaze: a 39-year-old homeless man named Basil Eleby, along with 39-year-old Sophia Brauer and 57-year-old Barry Andrew Thomas.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that while allegedly smoking crack, Eleby lit a chair on fire which created a larger blaze, leading to the bridge collapse.
Eleby was charged with first-degree arson, while the other two were given lesser charges of criminal trespassing.