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Buford house fire caused by space heater

BUFORD -- Officials believe a space heater is to blame for a early morning house fire in Buford.

Gwinnett County firefighters responded to the home on the 5600 block of Austin Garner Road at about 3:15 a.m. Wednesday after a neighbor reported it being ablaze. Two adult residents were able to evacuate before emergency crews arrived, fire department spokesman Lt. Colin Rhoden said.

When firefighters arrived, they found "moderate smoke" coming from the attic and quickly contained the blaze to a single bedroom, Rhoden said.

"There was moderate to heavy fire damage on the lower level of the house where the fire started," Rhoden said, "and heavy smoke and heat damage on the upper level and throughout the rest of the house."

The two residents were displaced. One suffered a minor foot injury while leaving the house, Rhoden said, but was treated and released on the scene.

Fire officials believe the blaze was accidental, with a space heater being the probable ignition source.

"The Gwinnett County fire department reminds residents to be cautious when using space heaters," Rhoden said. "Be sure to keep combustibles away from the heater while it is in use, turn off or unplug any units when you will not be able to monitor the use and if possible replace old units with newer ones that have the latest safety devices built into them."