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Apartment fire displaces nine families

Photo by Tori Boone

Photo by Tori Boone

BUFORD -- An afternoon apartment fire in Buford dispatched almost 60 Gwinnett County firefighters Tuesday, displacing nine different families.

Firefighters responded to the Oak Forest Apartments on South Hill Street at 4:20 p.m., spokesman Capt. Tommy Rutledge said, arriving to find heavy smoke pouring from a 12-unit building.

Finding the nearest fire hydrant tagged "out of service" by the City of Buford Water Department, they were forced to stretch hoses farther down the street to find a water supply.

Upon entering a second-floor apartment, firefighters found intense flames and smoke, and a blaze spanning the entire roofline of the building, Rutledge said.

"Crews were already met with a pretty intense fire situation in the attic and two top floor apartments on their arrival," Rutledge said.

While the official cause is still under investigation, investigators determined that the blaze originated from a second-story kitchen.

Firefighters were able to knock it down by 5:30 p.m.

No injuries were reported, Rutledge said, but the building sustained heavy damage, and the Red Cross was alerted to assist the approximately 20 people living in the nine occupied units.