Woman, 55, found dead inside home
Dacula house was filled with smoke from small fire

DACULA - Firefighters found the body of a 55-year-old woman Friday in a swank Dacula home that suffered minor smoke damage.

Investigators said Pamela Chance was found dead somewhere inside a two-story, brick home in the tony Brookside subdivision. A male family member came home and found the house filled with smoke Friday afternoon, an official said. He called 911 about 4 p.m.

The fire was small enough to put itself out, said Capt. Thomas Rutledge, Gwinnett County Fire Department spokesman.

"Right now, we're investigating all angles," Rutledge said. "There was not a lot of fire damage inside the home."

Rutledge said medical personnel were dispatched to the same home Thursday. Privacy laws prohibited Rutledge from discussing the nature of that call, he said.

Medical Examiner Ted Bailey said the woman's cause of death was undetermined Friday night. He'll perform an autopsy today.

Bailey couldn't say whether the death appeared suspicious or not late Friday.

The spacious 3403 Mill Grove Terrace home showed little signs of disturbance Friday evening, aside from several open windows. But the smell of charred wood permeated the sprawling neighborhood, where small crowds gathered to mull the incident. A red Acura sat in the home's driveway behind police tape.

"It's totally shocking," said Wyman Warnock, a neighbor who recently uprooted from Snellville to Brookside, an enclave located off Hamilton Mill Parkway. The subdivision is home to about 2,200 residents, he said.

"You think this is the safest place you can live in Gwinnett County," Warnoc said.

Rutledge wouldn't disclose where the body was found in the home or where the fire could have started. The cause of the blaze was under investigation late Friday.

Rutledge was unsure who else lived in the home with Chance. He said no one else was home at the time of the fire, and no other injuries were reported.

Fifteen-year-old Cameron Cowgill lives around the corner from Chance's home. Cowgill witnessed a distraught teen running from the home as he was driven home from school, he said.

"It's really sad," said Mason Jones, 14, another Brookside resident gathered at the scene. "I do like that the ambulances and fire trucks got here real fast."