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Fireplace fire blazes Lawrenceville, Snellville attics

All adults safe, but displaced

Fire crews look through the damage at the house on Long Street in Snellville. The blaze was started by the fireplace. (Photo: Gwinnett County Fire Department)

Fire crews look through the damage at the house on Long Street in Snellville. The blaze was started by the fireplace. (Photo: Gwinnett County Fire Department)

Just after midnight on Thanksgiving morning, fire crews responded to a house fire on the 190 block of Pineview Drive in Lawrenceville.

At 12:44 a.m., firefighters saw smoke coming from an older single-story wood frame and brick house. The occupants — two adults — were outside waiting when the fire department arrived.

“The man and woman were reportedly watching TV and were alerted by the smell of smoke coming from the attic,” fire department spokesman Capt. Tommy Rutledge said.

Once crews tackled the blaze, it appeared that the fire was accidental and started from a fire that was burning in the fireplace. The fire spread outside the fire box and into the attic. Much of the damage was contained to the wall around the chimney chase and attic.

“The quick action of the firefighters kept the flames from breaking through the roof,” Rutledge said.

There was smoke and water damage to other parts of the house. The American Red Cross was contacted to assist the displaced occupants. No injuries were reported.

Later in the afternoon, crews were called out to another fireplace fire. This time, it was on the 1900 block of Long Street in Snellville.

Firefighters arrived to the scene at 4:16 p.m. to find heavy flames on the left-side of a split-level wood frame house. The blaze originated from a fire burning in the fireplace and spread to the wall and attic.

“The occupants reported having the fireplace burning for most of the day,” Rutledge said. “They were alerted to the fire by the smell of smoke and escaped.”

The blaze caused extensive damage to the left-side of the structure near the chimney and attic, which sent smoke, heat and water throughout the house.

Two adult occupants, a husband and wife, were evaluated and released at the scene by paramedics for minor complaints. The Red Cross was contacted to provide assistance for three adults displaced by the damage.

“Firefighters suggest practicing fire safety by installing smoke alarms and developing a home fire escape plan,” Rutledge said. “Now is also the time to have home heating appliances and fireplaces checked by a qualified technician. Knowing what to do can help prevent home fires and keeps occupants safe during the cold winter months.”