Firefighters battle brush fire in Duluth

DULUTH - Fire consumed 5 acres of woods and brush in Duluth on Tuesday, but firefighters were able to save a nearby subdivision from the flames.

Near the intersection of Peachtree Industrial Boulevard and Sugarloaf Parkway, the blaze broke out at 3:07 p.m. and was under control by 5:25 p.m., Gwinnett Fire Department spokesman Lt. Thomas Rutledge said. But crews stayed at the scene dousing hot spots until 8 p.m. and checked the location throughout the night.

With 15 firefighters at the scene, Rutledge said the county had to call on Forsyth County Fire Department's specialized brush unit and the Georgia Forestry Commission to battle the blaze.

"It was a hard brush fire that was hard to get access to," he said, explaining that the Forsyth County crew used equipment that had a water tank attached to a tractor, while the forestry crew used another tractor to plow a fire break. "It was difficult to get to because of the topography and the lay of the land. We had surrounded the area and were able to protect the subdivision."

The fire was also difficult to handle because it burned on both sides of a railroad track, making the battle hard to coordinate, Rutledge said.

Officials believe the fire began near the tracks, but a cause has not yet been determined. Norfolk Southern Rail service was disrupted until the fire was brought under control.

Rutledge said no structures were involved in the fire, and homes in the nearby Baxley Ridge subdivision, which is under construction, were never in immediate danger.