2 Gwinnett homes burned overnight by discarded fireworks, fire officials say

Two homes were burned in Gwinnett County after used fireworks were thrown away too close to each house and caught the siding on fire at each one, fire officials said.

Credit: Gwinnett County Fire and Emergency Services

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Two homes were burned in Gwinnett County after used fireworks were thrown away too close to each house and caught the siding on fire at each one, fire officials said.

Credit: Gwinnett County Fire and Emergency Services

In the span of 15 minutes early Tuesday morning, Gwinnett County firefighters were called to two separate house fires that were each ignited by improperly discarded fireworks, officials said.

At both homes, used fireworks and debris were thrown away too close to the structure of the house, Gwinnett fire spokesman Capt. Brian Gaeth said in a news release. The still-smoldering trash reignited and caught the siding on fire at both houses, leading to larger fires and more extensive damage, Gaeth said.

To avoid a similar situation, Gaeth advised anyone using fireworks to douse the debris in water before throwing it away.

Firefighters were first called to a home in Buford at 12:40 a.m., Gaeth said. A working fire was found in the home’s garage and spreading to the attic. After confirming there was no one inside, the fire crew was able to bring the blaze under control.

The residents declined assistance from the Red Cross and will stay with family while the house is repaired, Gaeth said.

According to fire officials, the family said they were shooting off fireworks for the 4th of July when it began to rain. The used fireworks were thrown away in a plastic trashcan alongside the house, which ignited despite the rain.

The second call came from a home in Snellville at 12:52 a.m., Gaeth said. The 911 caller told dispatch the side of one home was on fire and the side of the neighbor’s house was beginning to burn, as well.

At the scene, firefighters worked quickly to prevent the fire in the original house from spreading through the entire attic, Gaeth said. Searches were conducted to ensure that everyone was out of the house and that no further damage was done to the neighboring home.

No injuries were reported at either fire, but two adults and six children will require help from the Red Cross, Gaeth said. The family in the neighboring Snellville home exposed to the fire will be able to remain in their house.

“Firefighters would like to emphasize the importance of soaking discharged fireworks in water prior to discarding them in the trash,” Gaeth said. “Follow all safety recommendations from the manufacturer or simply leave fireworks to the professionals.”