'Suspicious' fire injures woman

LAWRENCEVILLE - Investigators are ruling a fire suspicious that destroyed a Lawrenceville home early Saturday morning.

The 1:49 a.m. fire at 63 Russell Road destroyed the home and injured a woman who firefighters found lying in her driveway upon arrival. Information obtained by investigators indicates the woman may have been assaulted by an unknown assailant prior to the fire starting.

Investigators believe the injured woman escaped by crawling outside the home. She was transported to Gwinnett Medical Center after she was exposed to heavy smoke. She was the lone occupant at the time.

"Based on information received from the occupant, investigators have determined the fire to be suspicious in nature," said Gwinnett County Fire Department spokesman Lt. Thomas Rutledge.

Friends of the woman were driving by when they saw flames and stopped to help, Rutledge said.

"They could hear the woman calling out and assisted by moving her away from the house" before calling 911, Rutledge said.

Along with the home, the fire destroyed a vehicle parked inside the garage. More specific information about the case is not being released during the investigation, Rutledge said.

The blazed displaced the woman and her husband, who was not home at the time, Rutledge said.