TWO OCCUPANTS ESCAPE THROUGH WINDOWS IN NORCROSS DUPLEX FIRE

(Norcross, Ga., March 5, 2021) – Firefighters responded at 11:57 p.m. to a neighbor’s report of a duplex fire in the 5800 block of Kay Drive NW in unincorporated Norcross. The 911 caller advised of flames coming from the residence. Gwinnett County Police were originally dispatched to a possible domestic disturbance in the area which was later found to be commotion from the occupants evacuating the residence on fire. Shortly before police officers arrived on scene, the fire department was dispatched to the call and quickly advised by officers that the structure was well-involved.    

Crews arrived on scene and found a working fire on a single-story duplex with partial basement. Heavy fire involvement was found across the front of the structure as crews began deploying fire attack hose lines and completing a walk-around. A power line going into the structure was found down in the front yard after being compromised by the flames. Occupants were able to advise that everyone was outside the home. Firefighters began knocking back the flames with a 2½ inch hose line as they transitioned to an interior fire attack inside the right-side unit. A second hose line was deployed to assist crews on the interior with extinguishment. The blaze had already extended to the attic and was in the process of extending to the unit on the left side when crews were able to bring the fire under control. Additional crews completed searches of the structure, secured the utilities and deployed two ground ladders to the rear of the structure as a secondary means of egress for firefighters. As crews worked to extinguish hot spots and ventilate the structure, heavy fire damage was noted throughout the right-side unit. The unit on the left side sustained moderate smoke and water damage from firefighting efforts. Occupants advised there were three dogs inside the structure and firefighters were able to locate two of them deceased with one missing. One occupant that escaped out a rear window was assessed on scene by paramedics for minor injuries. The occupant refused transport to the hospital for further evaluation.

According to the occupants of the fire unit, one of them noticed smoke in unit and upon investigation found a fire in the living room. One occupant escaped out the front door while two additional occupants of the fire unit escaped through windows on the side and rear of the structure. The unit on the left side was not occupied when the fire occurred. The occupants advised no smoke alarms were present in the home. A total of six adults were displaced from both units with three requesting assistance from the American Red Cross.

A fire investigator responded to the scene for origin and cause determination. The investigator determined the fire originated in the front of the living room. The cause was ruled accidental although the exact cause of ignition was undetermined.

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 andpractice fire drills regularly. 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: 4-Engines, 1-Ladder Truck, 1-Squad, 1-Air/Light Unit, 1-Medic Unit, 1-Medical Supervisor, 2-Battalion Chiefs, 1-District Commander, 1-Fire Investigator and 1-PIO

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

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