Fire damages home

NORCROSS - A one-story house was extensively damaged by fire Sunday when a resident used gasoline while trying start a fire in the fireplace.

The man told firefighters he tried to use his lighter to ignite the gas about 9:40 a.m. and the living room caught on fire. By the time fire crews arrived five minutes later, the back of the house was engulfed in flames.

The blaze was extinguished by 10:04 a.m., according to Lt. Craig E. Stanley of the Gwinnett County Fire Department. Five adults and two children escaped the home. One of them was treated at the scene for minor burns to the face.

"Homeowners should never use gasoline to start a fire whether inside or outside a structure because fumes can quickly travel to an ignition source," Stanley said.

Taxi driver thwarts robbery

LAWRENCEVILLE - A taxi driver fought off a would-be robber Friday at Herrington Mill Apartments off Herrington Road.

The driver told police he picked up two men from a sports bar and took them to a hotel and a gas station. He dropped one of the men off at a nearby apartment complex and then proceeded to Herrington Mill Apartments to drop off the other man. After stopping at the rear entrance to the Herrington Mill complex, the taxi driver turned around to see the customer pointing a gun at him, according to a police report. The customer demanded money.

The taxi driver and the suspect struggled over the gun, causing it to accidentally discharge and the magazine to be ejected to the floorboard. The suspect fled in an unknown direction, the report said.

Man accidentally shoots himself

SUWANEE - A Suwanee man accidentally shot himself in the hand Friday while driving down Peachtree Industrial Boulevard.

The man stepped on the brakes at the intersection with McGinnis Ferry Road, causing a handgun he kept in the car to slide out from under the driver's seat. When the man reached down to grab it, he "felt a flame and then his hand hurt," according to a police report. He then realized he had shot himself.

The bullet went through the man's hand and into the car windshield. The victim's wife and 20-year-old daughter were also in the car, but they were not injured, the report said.

- From staff reports