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Local firefighters help out in downtown Atlanta

LAWRENCEVILLE - Gwinnett survived Friday's and Saturday's storms unscathed.

While fire crews and paramedics braced for the tornadoes that ravaged Atlanta neighborhoods and attractions, the department's only weather-related call over the weekend was to help out downtown.

"We were very fortunate. To have gotten through those (storms) without even a tree down or a person hurt, that was amazing," Gwinnett Fire Cpl. Thomas Rutledge said.

While the National Weather Service reported a tornado touched down west of Lawrenceville on Saturday afternoon, Rutledge said there was no evidence of a damaging funnel cloud.

Because of the threat of storms, fire officials placed an additional engine, ladder and ambulance in service, and opened a command center at the department's headquarters in Lawrenceville.

The only call, though, came late Friday night from the Atlanta Fire Department, who requested the county's Georgia Search and Rescue team, which is trained in specialty rescues, including building collapses.

The five-man team and a commander reported to Atlanta and helped both city and DeKalb personnel search the Fulton Cotton Mills Lofts, where floors collapsed on top of each other. No one was injured in the event.

The only report of damage in Gwinnett was a minor roof collapse at a Duluth gas station, according to a dispatcher for the city police department.