Officials probe fire at Tyler Perry's Atlanta studios

Reuters News
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Posted: May 02, 2012 12:48 PM
Officials probe fire at Tyler Perry's Atlanta studios

By David Beasley

ATLANTA (Reuters) - Investigators on Wednesday were trying to determine the cause of a fire that damaged the exterior of a building at filmmaker Tyler Perry's Atlanta studio complex late Tuesday.

More than 100 firefighters responded to the blaze at about 8:45 p.m. on Tuesday, Atlanta Fire Department spokesman J.L. Bundridge said. There were no injuries in the blaze and fire investigators have not yet determined the cause, he said.

The 200,000-square-foot (18,580-square-metre) studio complex, located in southwest Atlanta, includes five sound stages, a 400-seat theater and a private screening room, according to the studio's website.

Perry's film hits have included the 2005 breakout "Diary of a Mad Black Woman" in which he played several characters including the tough-talking grandmother Madea. He has since made more than a dozen films, including spinoffs such as "A Madea Christmas," that have successfully targeted a middle-class African-American audience previously overlooked by Hollywood.

Perry regularly tops U.S. box office charts with the films and television shows he writes, directs, produces and stars in. He was named Forbes magazine's highest-paid man in entertainment in 2011, above Jerry Bruckheimer and Steven Spielberg.

His movies are distributed by Lions Gate Entertainment Corp.

The fire was reported under control within about an hour and was contained to the exterior of the building, Bundridge said. "It did not penetrate into the interior due to the concrete masonry construction."

(Editing by David Adams and Eric Walsh)