Fire kills person in Lilburn house

LILBURN — A house fire that was fed by natural gas, and also had a downed live electrical line, turned fatal overnight Sunday into Monday morning.

Gwinnett firefighters responded to the 200 block of Edith Lane in Lilburn near midnight and had the fire under control at about 12:30 a.m. Monday morning, Gwinnett Fire Capt. Tommy Rutledge said. Because of a partially collapsed roof, fire crews were unable to make an immediate entry into the house, which was being renovated, Rutledge said.

John Hamilton, 50, was found deceased in a corner room, Gwinnett Medical Examiner Ted Bailey said. The cause of Hamilton's death was smoke and soot inhalation.

Firefighters were met with several challenges, Rutledge said, such as the fire being fed by a natural gas meter, the downed live electrical line, the blaze being fully involved prior to the crews’ arrival and rapidly deteriorating building conditions.

Rutledge said the cause of the fire is under investigation, but there are no signs of foul play.

An investigator from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is also assisting with the cause and origin determination, Rutledge said, which is a common practice for fatal fires.

The blaze also damaged a car, which was parked near the house, Rutledge said.