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Storms bring down trees, power lines; lightning ignites house fires

Staff Photo: Brendan Sullivan
Members of Trees Inc. and the Gwinnett County Fire Department respond to the severe storm which struck down in the city of Peachtree Corners causing power outages, fallen trees, fallen power lines and blocked roads on Tuesday evening. No one has been reported injured.

Staff Photo: Brendan Sullivan Members of Trees Inc. and the Gwinnett County Fire Department respond to the severe storm which struck down in the city of Peachtree Corners causing power outages, fallen trees, fallen power lines and blocked roads on Tuesday evening. No one has been reported injured.

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Staff Photo: Brendan Sullivan Operator of Trees Inc. Jon Motsinger clears debris from a fallen tree on Glen Meadow Drive, NW in the city of Peachtree Corners on Tuesday evening. No one has been reported injured.

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Staff Photo: Brendan Sullivan A home at the intersection of Glen Meadow Drive, NW and Heathwood Lane in Peachtree Corners was hit by a fallen tree on Tuesday evening. The home was without power and left with minor cosmetic damage. No one has been reported injured.

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Firefighters responded to a house fire on 100 block of Paris Drive in Lawrenceville.

Severe weather knocked down multiple trees and power lines in the Peachtree Corners area Tuesday and ignited at least one house fire in Lawrenceville.

The National Weather Service issued a severe thunderstorm warning at about 7 p.m. Tuesday, signaling the beginning of what would be a lengthy night for emergency personnel. In Peachtree Corners, fire department crews responded to the Spalding Corners subdivision, finding “numerous” trees down and at least four streets blocked, spokesman Capt. Tommy Rutledge said.

Firefighters were able to cut trees from several roadways in order to gain access to the back of Spalding Corners. Power outages were reported in the immediate area, Rutledge said.

Georgia Power officials say 14,800 customers statewide were without power at one point after Tuesday evening's storms, with 11,500 of them in metro Atlanta.

By 6:30 a.m. Wednesday, the company said about 970 customers remained without power statewide. About 800 of the total were on the north side of metro Atlanta.

While several houses in the Peachtree Corners subdivision were damaged, Rutledge said that damage was typically only “minor or cosmetic in nature.”

Fire department operations at that scene began winding down about 9 p.m., Rutledge said, but tree and power crews remained on the scene after 10 p.m.

Tuesday’s storm also created a fire when lightning struck a home on the 700 block of McKendree Lake Way in Lawrenceville. A neighbor reported seeing the lightning strike the house, and an adult occupant was able to escape unharmed, Rutledge said.

The blaze caused significant damage to the home’s attic.

Just before midnight, firefighters responded to a second house fire on 100 block of Paris Drive in Lawrenceville.

Upon arrival, crews found heavy flames and smoke showing from the attic and roof of a two-story wood frame house.

Firefighters deployed attack lines and immediately entered the burning structure to conduct a search and battle the blaze. Crews were forced to back-out and fight the fire from the outside due to intense fire conditions and a partial collapse of the roof.

"It's import for people to know what to do when lightning strikes occur," Rutledge said.

The blaze caused heavy damage to the structure.

No injuries were reported in any of the night’s incidents.

“Based on the magnitude of the storm, we are extremely fortunate that there were no reports of injury or major damage,” Rutledge said.