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FIRE BRIEFS: Lightning fire displaces four

Lightning fire displaces four

LAWRENCEVILLE -- A pop-up thunderstorm early Sunday caused Gwinnett's fifth residential lightning fire of the weekend and displaced a Lawrenceville family, officials said.

An occupant reported the fire about 3 a.m. at a two-story home in the 500 block of Sydney Crest Lane in Lawrenceville. Firefighters rendered it under control about 20 minutes later, officials said.

The blaze caused moderate damage to an exterior wall and the home's attic, sending smoke throughout the structure, said Fire Department spokesman Capt. Thomas Rutledge.

The fire appeared to be the result of a lightning strike to electrical components of the home from earlier in the evening. A strong thunderstorm had swept the area about 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Rutledge said.

The occupants were home asleep at the time of the fire and awoke just before 3 a.m. to a strong rubber smell and electrical odor. They hadn't been home at the time of the storm, but did report a faint electrical odor when they returned shortly afterward, Rutledge said.

"(They) reportedly checked the house and the electrical panel box before going to bed," he said. "They found no sign of smoke or fire present."

The family -- two adults and two children -- were displaced due to the damage, but did not request Red Cross assistance. They planned to stay with nearby relatives, Rutledge said.

No injuries were reported.

Blaze destroys Snellville home

SNELLVILLE -- A Sunday afternoon fire destroyed a home in the 4500 block of Ashlyn Rebecca Drive in Snellville, officials said.

A neighbor reported the house was on fire at 3:24 p.m. and knocked on the door to alert its occupants, Rutledge said. Firefighters fought the blaze for nearly an hour before bringing it under control. The home is a total loss, Rutledge said.

The single-story home and a vehicle in the driveway were both fully involved when crews arrived, Rutledge said. Another vehicle in the garage was destroyed. No injuries were reported.

Radiant heat from the blaze melted exterior siding on two neighboring houses, Rutledge said.

"Investigators are trying to determine where and how the blaze started," he said.

One woman was home at the time, he said.