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Fire damages Norcross apartments

NORCROSS - Firefighters believe an early morning fire that damaged multiple units at the Bristol Pointe Apartment complex Friday started in a hot water heater closet on the second floor.

Lt. Thomas Rutledge, Gwinnett County Fire Department spokesman, said the fire began inside the closet on the balcony of the apartment, extending to a third-floor unit and attic above.

The flames damaged 10 units of the three-story apartment building at 3500 Peachtree Corners Circle; only seven of the 10 were occupied.

Rutledge said two units had heavy fire damage with four others having heavy smoke and water damage.

"The occupants of the unit where the fire started were home, but were able to escape without injury," he said.

Residents were displaced from the six units, including four additional apartment homes that residents were unable to return to because of utility outages.

Rutledge said firefighters received the call around 6 a.m. Friday, arriving as residents were evacuating. No injuries were reported.

"Firefighters did a tremendous job stopping the fire from spreading to additional units," he said. "They worked quickly and aggressively to control the flames."

He said the American Red Cross arrived on scene to provide food and assistance.

Laurie Kimbrell, spokeswoman for the Red Cross northeastern district, said they assisted five families consisting of six adults and one child. She said two other families were affected by the fire but were not present at the time the Red Cross arrived.

"We left word for them to contact us," Kimbrell said. "The families will be relocated within the complex, which is great. We'll be working with them to provide assistance as needed."

Maria Sanchez, leasing agent for the apartments, said all the families were transferred to other units within the complex until their units are safe for their return or other arrangements are made.