Fire briefs: Fire blamed on cigarette

Fire blamed on cigarette

NORCROSS — An improperly discarded cigarette is to blame in a Monday night apartment fire near Norcross, officials said.

The fire, reported about 11 p.m., heavily damaged one residence in a two-story, 20-unit building in the 900 block of Preston Lake Drive. Other units were damaged by smoke, but no injuries were reported, said Fire Department spokesman Capt. Thomas Rutledge.

Rutledge said the fire occurred in a basement unit and was caused by an improperly discarded cigarette left in a kitchen trash can.

“The fire appears to be accidental in nature,” he said.

Residents of the building were evacuated until firefighters could check for fire extensions and clear the smoke from adjoining units.

Half of the building was able to be reoccupied Monday, while residents in the half where the fire occurred were displaced due to power being cut. The complex assisted occupants in 10 apartment units with temporary housing, said Rutledge.

Rutledge reminded smokers to soak cigarette butts in water before discarding them in trash cans.

“Never smoke when you are tired or intoxicated, and always keep smoking materials out of the reach of small children,” Rutledge said.

Blaze damages Buford home

BUFORD — A fully involved house fire caused heavy damage to a home in Buford on Tuesday evening, officials said.

Gwinnett County fire crews responded to the 3400 block of Hamilton Mill Road at 5:40 p.m., spokesman Capt. Tommy Rutledge said. Once there, they found a fully-involved blaze, and were able to to knock down the bulk of the blaze using a flowing ladder pipe, Rutledge said.

Four adult occupants were home at the time, Rutledge said, but no injuries were reported.

The exact cause of the fire was undetermined Tuesday night.