Lawrenceville, Ga., July 5, 2022) – Gwinnett County Fire and Emergency Services reports that two separate overnight house fires were the result of smoldering debris from discarded fireworks. According to a press release from GCFES, in both cases, the debris was thought to be extinguished before being placed close to the exterior siding of the house to be discarded later.
The first fire was a home on the 1300 block of Shirley Drive in Buford that a neighbor reported to 911 at 12:40 a.m. Tuesday, July 5th, noting that the side of the house was on fire but everybody had evacuated.
“Upon arrival, firefighters found a working fire in a single-story residence. A walk-around was performed as crews deployed two fire attack hose lines. Primary and secondary searches were completed to confirm that everyone was out. Fire damage spread into the garage and adjacent attic space. A rapid intervention team was in place and rehab established for the safety of crews operating on scene,” GCFES public information officer Capt. Brian Gaeth said in the press release. “The family reported that they had been shooting fireworks and when it started raining all trash from the fireworks was thrown into a plastic trashcan and placed near the house. Some of the debris was not fully extinguished allowing the fire to develop and spread up the exterior of the home. Smoke alarms were present and activated appropriately though the family was alerted by the neighbor to exit the home prior to the alarms activating.”
Gaeth said the family declined Red Cross assistance and will stay with family while repairs are made to the home.
The second call came in less than 15 minutes later, at 12:52 a.m., from a homeowner on the 3000 block of Meadow Point Drive in Snellville. In that case, the 911 caller reported the the side of the house was on fire and was starting to burn the side of the house next door. The house also was reported to be evacuated.
“Firefighters arrived on scene to a working fire. Crews worked quickly to get a walk-around to look for hazards and knockdown the exterior portion of the fire to both the house of origin and the exposure. As additional crews arrived, a total of two fire attack hose lines were deployed. The fire in the house of origin had spread into the attic and firefighters had to work quickly to prevent the fire from involving the whole attic,” Gaeth said in the press release. “Primary and secondary searches were completed and confirmed that everyone was out of the house. A rapid intervention team was in place and rehab established for the safety of crews operating on scene.”
As in the first instance, the fire was determined to have started on the exterior of the home due to debris from discarded fireworks. The occupants were alerted by smoke alarms and were able to safely exit the house. Gaeth said there were no injuries reported but the family of two adults and six children will require assistance from the Red Cross. The family in the neighboring home that was exposed to the fire was able to stay in their home.