Lawrenceville house destroyed by blaze

LAWRENCEVILLE — Less than three hours into 2011, a blaze destroyed a Lawrenceville home.

Five people escaped unharmed from the one-story ranch house at the 500 block of Dogwood Drive, but a cat died in the fire.

Residents tried to extinguish the flames prior to calling 911 at about 2:41 a.m. New Year’s Day, said Gwinnett Fire spokesman Lt. Eric Eberly. Firefighters had to take a defensive stance, when they arrived, finding the home engulfed in flames and thick black smoke showing.

An exact cause is under investigation, although officials believe the fire began in the home’s garage.