Firefighter injured in Friday morning fire

LILBURN - A Gwinnett County firefighter injured while working a fire Friday morning is now recovering at home, officials said.

The lieutenant, whose name has not been released by fire officials, was momentarily trapped under a portion of roof and debris that fell from a burning home on Cold Springs Drive in Lilburn.

Fire Department spokesman Capt. Thomas Rutledge said the firefighter was serving as the incident safety officer and was walking the perimeter of the house when a portion of the right side of the home collapsed, knocking him to the ground and pinning his legs under a section of wall.

Rutledge said the trapped firefighter was able to transmit a mayday call over a portable radio, prompting a team of firefighters known as the Rapid Intervention Crew to respond and free the downed firefighter.

"We're just fortunate he wasn't injured more than he was," Rutledge said. The lieutenant was released from Gwinnett Medical Center mid-morning Friday and is expected to be fine, Rutledge added.

Fire crews were initially called to the home at 3:33 a.m. to quell the flames.

Crews found heavy fire issuing from the attic and flames breaking through the roof of the single-story wood frame house. Rutledge said firefighters made immediate entry to combat the fire and conduct a search for possible victims.

Intense flames and heat drove crews out of the house, causing them to fight flames from the outside.

A family of five was home when the fire broke out and was able to escape unharmed.

According to Rutledge, the American Red Cross was contacted to assist the displaced family.

The cause of the fire is undetermined under investigation, Rutledge added.