Gwinnett County officials are investigating what caused a fire that forced a family of eight to flee their home in unincorporated Lawrenceville late Friday night.

Crews were called to the home on the 800 block of Cruiser Run at 11:08 p.m. and arrived nine minutes later to find the home engulfed in flames, Firefighter Lt. Justin Wilson said.

"As firefighters entered the structure from the front door and made their way up the stairs, conditions were rapidly deteriorating with flames breaking through the roof," Wilson said. "Due to the heavy fire involvement through both floors and the roof, the decision was made to back crews out and transition to a defensive mode of operation."

It took firefighters more than an hour to get the fire under control. Although flames were listed as being knocked down around midnight, fire officials said the fire was not under control until about 12:33 a.m.

A 911 caller reported that the basement was on fire and that the family which lived in the home had evacuated. Wilson said a member of the family who was asleep on the first floor woke up because of the heat from the fire and the smell of smoke. They found smoke on the first floor and alerted the rest of the family to evacuate.

The evacuees included four adults and four children. They are receiving assistance from the American Red Cross.

An aerial ladder truck was brought in to fight the flames from above so firefighters could gain access to the house. Eventually, crews were able to put out hot spots from multiple access points, according to Wilson.

"The home sustained extensive damage throughout and is considered a total loss," the fire department spokesman said. "There was no reported damage to neighboring homes. No injuries were reported at the scene."

Although investigators have been able to determine the fire began in the left rear corner of the house, by the garage on the first floor, they have not yet been able to determine a cause.

I'm a Crawford Long baby who grew up in Marietta. I eventually wandered away from home and attended the University of Southern Mississippi, in Hattiesburg, Miss., where I first tried my hand at majoring in film for a couple of years. And then political sc