Two apartment units in unincorporated Tucker were engulfed in flames after an SUV crashed into a building at the Somerset at the Crossings Apartment complex Monday night, according to Gwinnett fire officials.
Capt. Tommy Rutledge said crews were called to the complex, which is located at 100 Summerwalk Parkway NW, at 10:51 p.m. and, upon arrival, found the SUV had hit the building at the base of natural gas meters. A fire had already started as a result of the crash.
“There was heavy smoke and flames showing from two apartment units as firefighters deployed fire attack and water supply hose lines,” Rutledge said. “First-arriving companies were challenged by an intense fire and an active gas leak from the damaged meters. Firefighters confirmed that the building was evacuated and worked aggressively to stop the spread of the flames.”
Burning gas vapors that were coming from the damaged meters prevented firefighters from being able to stop the fire at first and an Atlanta Gas Light emergency crew had to be called to stop the gas leak. Crews were able to stop the main part of the fire at 11:15 p.m., but officials were not able to get the fire completely under control until about 12:35 a.m. Officials got the gas leak secured at about 2:22 a.m., Rutledge said.
First responders were able to evacuate the building, which had eight units, without any reports of injuries.
“According to the Incident Commander, there were occupants’ home at the time and all escaped unharmed,” Rutledge said. “A wrecker was requested to remove the charred remains of the vehicle from the side of the building once the fire was out and the leak was brought under control. The blaze caused heavy damage to two end apartment units and moderate damage in two adjoining units toward the center of the building.”
The driver of the SUV was arrested by Gwinnett County police. Rutledge deferred questions about the arrest to the police department.