Fire damages Buford self-storage complex

BUFORD - A mid-afternoon blaze heavily damaged 10 units at a large self-storage facility in Buford, an official said.

No injuries were reported.

Capt. Thomas Rutledge, spokesman for the Gwinnett County Fire Department, said firefighters from a nearby station could see a thick column of smoke as they responded about 12:20 p.m. Monday. Crews found heavy fire showing from the center portion of AAAA Self Storage, a 100-unit facility at 4365 Commerce Drive.

The fire, believed to have started in a center unit, caused heavy damage to 10 separate storage units, Rutledge said. Six other storage spaces sustained moderate smoke and water damage.

The bulk of the blaze was extinguished about 12:53 p.m., Rutledge said.

Rutledge said firefighters encountered a "pretty serious" blaze when they arrived.

"Firefighters did a tremendous job battling the blaze in the heat of the day," he said. "They were able to stop it from involving the entire facility."

A renter, described as an adult male, was reportedly at a storage unit when the fire started and tried to put it out with a portable fire extinguisher. He was unsuccessful and the flames quickly spread to adjoining compartments.

The exact cause of the fire is under investigation, Rutledge said.