(Buford, Ga., Nov. 21, 2020) – Firefighters responded at 4:20 a.m. to a neighbor’s report of a house fire in the 900 block of W Shadburn Avenue NE in the city of Buford. The 911 caller advised the house was near the railroad tracks and the entire front of the house was on fire. Gwinnett County Police arrived on scene first and advised the home was well involved in fire.

Crews arrived on scene with heavy fire consuming the front of a single-story residence on a crawl space. While firefighters completed a walk-around of the structure, fire attack hose lines were rapidly deployed for a transitional fire attack. The bulk of the flames on the front of the home were being knocked down as additional crews advanced through the rear to keep the fire in check while a search was completed. As crews were working to search for victims, family members arrived on scene and advised there were no occupants in the home. As crews completed the search of the home, a cat was located inside and removed. An attempt to revive the cat with a pet oxygen mask was unsuccessful. The fire continued to progress through false ceilings and void spaces as firefighting efforts were hampered due to the construction and renovation of the 1930’s home. It took nearly two hours and thirty firefighters to bring the incident under control. Extensive overhaul was required to extinguish hotspots. The home is considered a total loss after sustaining heavy fire damage including partial collapses of the floor and ceilings. No injuries were reported at the scene.

According to the homeowners, a family member resides at the residence and was not home at the time of the blaze. The family was notified by neighbors that the house was on fire. A fire investigator responded to the scene for origin and cause determination. According to the fire investigator, the fire originated on the front porch and was ruled accidental due to the improper disposal of smoking materials.

Firefighters encourage all citizens to practice home fire safety. Be sure to install working smoke alarms on every level of the home and in each bedroom. Develop a home escape plan and practice fire drills regularly. Check and maintain home heating appliances such as the furnace, fireplace and space heater. For additional information on home fire safety, please contact the Gwinnett Fire and Emergency Services’ Community Risk Reduction Division at 678-518-4845 or email fireprograms@gwinnettcounty.com.  

Equipment at the scene included: 6-Engines, 1-Ladder Truck, 1-Squad, 1-Air/Light Unit, 1-Medic Unit, 2-Battalion Chiefs, 2-Fire Investigators and 1-PIO

Note: Pictures of the incident can be located on Facebook and Twitter @GwinnettFire

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