Neighbor wakes up couple after seeing house on fire

SNELLVILLE - A neighbor is credited for waking a couple Monday morning as their home burned.

A neighbor who lived across the street from a Snellville couple's home at 2661 Brentford Lane saw flames coming from the home, called 911 and woke the man and woman by knocking on their door shortly before 2:30 a.m. Monday, said Gwinnett County Fire Department spokesman Lt. Thomas Rutledge.

Although Rutledge said firefighters are unsure what started the blaze, fire crews arrived to find heavy fire coming from the garage of the large two-story brick house and had doused the flames about 3:19 a.m.

Rutledge said the fire spread to the bonus room above the garage and into the attic before firefighters could get it under control.

"They were lucky their neighbor happened to be up and alerted them," Rutledge said.

The fire did not spread to the main part of the home, Rutledge said, and smoke alarms did not go off because the fire was contained to the garage and attic.

Rutledge said the man and woman living in the home as well as their two dogs escaped the blaze unharmed.

The couple and their dogs were displaced from their home, but Rutledge said the residents will be staying with nearby relatives.

Rutledge said he recommends residents place smoke detectors in every room of the home if possible or at least have one on every floor of the home and in the hallways.

"Batteries should be changed twice a year and you should check batteries weekly, testing using the audible button," Rutledge said. "A smoke detector is key to survival. You lose your sense of smell when you sleep, so often the only way to wake up is with a smoke detector."