Update: Son dies trying to save parents in fatal Gwinnett County house fire


Gwinnett County Fire officials say a man died in an early morning fire in the Lilburn area of unincorporated Gwinnett County while trying to save his mother and father. He managed to get his father to safety but succumbed to his injuries when he went back in for his mother.

Fatal house fire in Gwinnett County on Dec. 1, 2108. Photo credit: Gwinnett County Fire and Emergency Services

The caller to 9-1-1 reported smoke and flames at the neighbors home at 3:30 a.m.

“Crews arrived on scene to find a one-story, single family, wood-framed structure well-involved with flames through the roof.  Per the Incident Commander, neighbors were pointing firefighters to the right-hand side of the house towards the back, stating that there were potential victims inside.  A quick decision was made by the firefighters to immediately make entry into a window found on the right side of the home using the vent, enter, isolate, and search rescue mode of operation,” Donald Strother, assistant public information officer for Gwinnett County Fire said in a press release. “Two unconscious adult victims were found and rapidly extricated through the window. One victim was declared deceased on scene. The second victim was transported to the hospital in critical condition.”

Strother said once the victims were removed, firefighters went into a defensive mode of operation.

“As fire conditions became conducive, operations changed to allow crews to conclude their primary and secondary searches for any other potential victims.  There was a third victim that had initially been unaccounted for.  The searches revealed that this victim was conscious and already out of the home upon arrival of the firefighters,” Strothers said.

Aerial operations were activated to assist and crews managed to knock down the fire within 20 minutes. After being assessed, the third victim had moderate injuries from the fire and was transported to the hospital, where a translator was able to give details. It was determined that that the third victim turned out to be the father of the deceased.

“The father awoke to smoke and alerted his adult son. He stated that his adult son helped get him out of the house and went back into the structure to assist his mother (the victim that is currently in critical condition). During the deceased’s efforts to save his mother, he succumbed to the conditions,” Strother said.

Due to Federal Patient Privacy Laws known as HIPPA, the Fire PIO is unable to release the names of all victims. The name of the deceased victim will be disclosed by the Medical Examiner’s office once a positive identification has been made. The origin of the fire was determined to be in a second kitchen located at the back of the home, but the exact cause of the fire is not yet known. The kitchen was reportedly used last in the late afternoon of the previous day. The home and a vehicle parked in the garage were completely destroyed by the fire.

Initial Story

Gwinnett County Fire and Emergency Services responded to an overnight house fire in the Lilburn area of Gwinnett County. According to Capt. Tommy Rutledge public information officer with Gwinnett Fire, the fire resulted in the death of one adult, has critically injured another and a third adult was also transported to the hospital with minor/moderate injuries. Crews were dispatched to the home on the 900 block of Glasgow Drive at 3:30 a.m.

“Crews found heavy fire showing from a one-story house on arrival,” Rutledge said. “Fire Investigators are on the scene conducting an investigation. The home is a total loss due to the blaze. The exact cause of the fire is currently undetermined and is under active investigation.”

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