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Friday night storms keep firefighters busy

LAWRENCEVILLE -- Gwinnett firefighters were busy late Friday night and into early Saturday morning responding to multiple calls as a result of the lightning storm that moved through the county during that time.

The Gwinnett County Fire Department received alarm activation calls, a few wires down calls and calls about structure fires. A total of 53 calls were dispatched between 10:30 p.m. Friday and 12:30 a.m. Saturday, and the department activated its Emergency Operations Plan to assist with coordinating resources and deploying equipment.

Crews were dispatched at 11:03 p.m. Friday to the 700 block of Hambrick Drive in Lilburn, where firefighters found a working fire in the attic on arrival. An occupant was home at the time and heard a loud boom before discovering the blaze and escaping. There was heavy damage to the attic and moderate damage to the second floor. The cause of the fire was a lightning strike. No injuries were reported.

About 30 minutes later, crews responded to the 500 block of Congress Parkway in Lawrenceville where firefighters found a working fire in the chimney chase on arrival. The blaze, also caused by a lightning strike, caused moderate damage to the chimney chase and sent smoke inside the first and second floors of the home. Occupants were home at the time and heard a loud popping sound. They discovered the chimney on fire and escaped. No injuries reported.

Fire crews also responded to a house fire Friday night at the 1900 block of Woods River Lane in Duluth where they extinguished a fire in a wall caused by a lightning strike. Occupants were home at the time but no injuries reported.