(Norcross, Ga., May 29, 2021) – A Norcross woman died Saturday morning when a fire ripped through her unit at the JSD Apartments, located on the 2100 block of Sarah Court NW in unincorporated Norcross. Firefighters could see a column of dark smoke from a distance as they responded to the scene.

Crews arrived at 7:03 a.m. to find heavy smoke and flames showing from two apartment units on the front of the building. The fire was burning on both floors and in the attic as crews deployed fire attack and water supply hose lines. Firefighters were made aware of a person trapped inside and made immediate entry to begin rescue efforts.

The body of a deceased female was found in the back bedroom of the ground floor apartment where the fire started. Two female occupants were home sleeping at the time the fire erupted. One woman described being awakened by the smoke alarm and discovered the apartment filling with smoke. She went to the back bedroom to alert the second female and both headed toward the hallway. The second female went back in the bedroom and did not make it out.

According to Fire Investigators, the blaze started in the front bedroom and appears to be accidental. Investigators are unable to rule out multiple electrical sources in the room of origin. The exact cause is currently undetermined.

The body was turned over to the Gwinnett County Medical Examiner’s Office for positive identification and cause of death determination. The Fire-PIO is unable to release the name of the deceased victim or provide specific injury information due to Federal Patient Privacy Laws known as HIPAA. There were no other injuries reported.

The American Red Cross was contacted to provide temporary assistance for residents displaced from the damaged apartment building. Three units sustained heavy fire damage and a fourth unit sustained moderate fire damage.

This tragic fire is a reminder of the importance of following proper fire safety practices. Be sure to install working smoke alarms on every level and develop a home fire escape plan. Get out fast when you hear the smoke alarm sounding and never go back inside a burning house or apartment. If you encounter smoke and heat inside, crawl low to the floor and go to the nearest exit. Have two ways out and practice fire drills regularly. Knowing what to do during a fire could save your life. Incident photos available on Facebook and Twitter @GwinnettFire.

For additional information on fire safety, please contact the Gwinnett Fire Community Risk Reduction Division at 678.518.4845 or email fireprograms@gwinnettcounty.com.

EQUIPMENT AT THE SCENE INCLUDED: 5-Engines, 2-Ladder Trucks, 1-Squad, 1-Air & Light Unit, 2-Medic Units, 1-Medic Supervisor, 2-Battalion-Chief’s, 1-District Commander, 2-Fire Investigators, and 1-PIO.


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