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Fire at Tyler Perry's studios limited to backlot facade

By the CNN Wire Staff
updated 6:22 PM EDT, Wed May 2, 2012
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: "Damage is limited to the backlot facade," Tyler Perry Studios says
  • NEW: Perry uses the facade to shoot city scenes for his movies, including the "Madea" franchise
  • NEW: Perry thanks Atlanta firefighters for their "quick response and limiting the damage"
  • Officials do not know what started the fire

Atlanta (CNN) -- A large fire at the southwest Atlanta film studio of Tyler Perry on Tuesday night damaged the backlot facade of one of Perry's sound stages, according to a statement from the studio Wednesday.

"We are grateful that there were no injuries and that 99% of the damage is limited to the backlot facade," the studio statement said.

The building's interior, which was protected from the flames by concrete masonry construction, did suffer some water damage, according to a statement from the Atlanta Fire Department.

Officials do not know what started the fire, said Atlanta Fire Capt. Jolyon Bundridge.

Perry studios facade damaged from fire

Perry uses the facade to shoot city street scenes for his movies, including his successful "Madea" franchise.

When he opened the studio for production four years ago, Perry named the backlot 34th Street, "as in Miracle on 34th Street."

Each sound stage is named after legendary African-American actors, including Sidney Poitier, Ruby Dee and Cicely Tyson. The sound stages are where Perry shoots his TV sitcoms, including "Meet the Browns" and "House of Payne."

Perry was at the complex Tuesday night but did not speak to reporters, CNN affiliate WSB reported.

"Mr. Perry wishes to express his heartfelt thanks to the Atlanta fire department for their professionalism in their quick response and limiting the damage," the studio said.

The multimillion-dollar studios sit on 60 acres and include five sound stages, a 5-acre pond, a theater, a chapel, a commissary, a gymnasium, Perry's office, an art department where sets are designed, hair and makeup facilities, a wardrobe department, set decoration, a post-production facility and the backlot, according to the studio website.

Perry's credits include work as director, writer, producer, actor and playwright.

Last year, Perry topped Forbes' "Entertainment's Highest-Paid Men" list, raking in $130 million in 12 months beginning in May 2010.

CNN's Alan Duke, Jane Caffrey, Joe Sutton and Justin Lear and HLN's Mike Brooks contributed to this report.

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