Gwinnett County Fire and Emergency Services said fires inside a Bass Pro Shops at Sugarloaf Mills caused heavy damage to four bass fishing boats and trailers.
Investigators said the fire originated from one of the boats in the lot and spread to the other three nearby. Officials said the exact cause of the fire is undetermined and the investigation is still active.
Officials with Gwinnett Fire said the boats were customer-owned and at the shop for repairs. Not injuries were reported.
Officials said firefighters responded at 10:12 p.m. to a call that two boats were on fire near the exterior of the Bass Pro Shops, located at 5900 Sugarloaf Parkway in unincorporated Lawrenceville.
Officials said heavy smoke and flames were coming from several boats in the parking lot on the Interstate 85 side of the building when firefighters arrived 10:17 p.m. Firefighters quickly hoses and began an “aggressive attack” to control the flames. Firefighters checked to see if the flames spread inside the building or on the roof. Officials said flames sent smoke across I-85 as crews applied water and foam to extinguish the fire.
The mall was vacated until the situation was declared under control at 10:34 p.m.
Officials said the fire was contained to an area of the parking lot that is used for storage. Officials said there was no additional damage found inside the building or on the roof, and mall security confirmed that no smoke or fire entered the mall.
The Gwinnett County Fire Hazmat Team was requested to check for potential runoff in a nearby storm drain due to firefighting efforts, but did not detect significant runoff.
Investigators are working to determine the exact cause of the fire.