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Smoke alarm wakes family sleeping in burning home

LILBURN -- A smoke alarm woke up a family of three early Saturday morning and allowed them to escape their burning home unscathed, officials said.

Gwinnett County firefighters responded to the home on the 4200 block of Oak Circle in Lilburn at about 12:10 a.m., finding the blaze burning in the basement, spokesman Capt. Tommy Rutledge said. With the residents -- two adults and a child -- safely outside, firefighters were able to control the fire, which caused only moderate damage to the home's basement.

The family self-reported the fire after a smoke alarm woke them up, Rutledge said.

"Had it not been for the noise of the smoke alarm, the residents could have been trapped inside," Rutledge said. "The smoke alarm did its job and the family is safe."

Investigators believe the fire was accidental and originated in the area of the home's hot water heater, Rutledge said.

One pet cat survived, but another was not able to escape from the home.NORCROSS -- Residents came back to their Norcross home at about 2 a.m. Saturday to find it filled with smoke, officials said.

The adult residents called firefighters to the house on the 6800 block of Windfaire Drive, where crews found a partial collapse of the first floor "just a few feet inside the front door," Rutledge said.

"Initial fire crews reported very little visible flame, but the house was filled with thick smoke and heat when the fire department arrived," Rutledge said.

The exact cause of the fire was undetermined and under investigation Saturday. No injuries were reported.LILBURN -- Firefighters made quick work of a Saturday morning vehicle fire in Lilburn, officials said.

Personnel responded to the vehicle parked on the roadway near Nash Lee Court and Nash Lee Drive at about 2:30 a.m., Rutledge said. The blaze was quickly extinguished and contained to the vehicle of origin.

"There was no immediate threat to nearby houses and no injuries were reported," Rutledge said.

The cause of the fire was under investigation.-- From staff reports