2 firefighters burned after man sets fire to Gwinnett home with family inside, officials say

A man was charged with felony arson and domestic violence after he set fire to a Gwinnett County home while his wife, children and mother-in-law were still inside, authorities said.
Caption
A man was charged with felony arson and domestic violence after he set fire to a Gwinnett County home while his wife, children and mother-in-law were still inside, authorities said.

Credit: Gwinnett Fire and Emergency Services

Two Gwinnett County firefighters suffered burn injuries after a man set fire to a home while his family was still inside Saturday night, authorities said.

Kulin Jayendra Dave, 37, of Lawrenceville, was taken into custody at the scene by Gwinnett fire investigators and charged with felony arson and domestic violence, said Gwinnett Fire and Emergency Services spokesman Capt. Brian Gaeth.

Firefighters responded to the home along Highgate Drive around 9:10 p.m. after a 911 caller said her husband was locked inside a bedroom and had set something on fire, Gaeth said. The fire was set in an upstairs closet while Dave’s wife, children and mother-in-law were in the home, Gaeth said. The wife was alerted by the smoke alarms and was able to get out safely with the children and mother-in-law, he added.

When crews arrived, light smoke was coming from the upstairs. Firefighters entered the home and went into the upstairs bedroom where Dave was thought to be, Gaeth said. Encountering dark smoke but no visible fire, conditions began to quickly deteriorate, he said.

Two firefighters called a “mayday” and signaled to those on scene that they were in trouble, Gaeth said. They were quickly found and led out of the home to be evaluated by medical crews. Gaeth said the two firefighters suffered non-life-threatening burn injuries and were transported to a hospital.

After all crews reported to the incident commander for accountability, the department began putting out the fire.

Crews eventually learned that Dave, who they thought was trapped inside, was actually outside of the home prior to the firefighters’ arrival, Gaeth said. He first told authorities the fire was an accident, but eventually admitted to setting it, Gaeth confirmed. Authorities did not provide a motive.

About the Author

ajc.com

Editors' Picks