JUST IN: Woman ID’d in fatal fire that ripped through Gwinnett townhome

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The woman was found unconscious and was rushed to the hospital.

A woman pulled from a burning townhome near Norcross has died, Gwinnett County fire officials said.

The blaze started at a townhouse in the 900 block of Summer Place around 2:40 a.m. Tuesday, Gwinnett fire Capt. Tommy Rutledge said. The two-story unit, which is in the middle of a row of homes, was fully involved in flames when firefighters arrived.

It took crews about 30 minutes to put out the fire.

When they entered the townhome, they found the woman unconscious on the second floor. She was rushed to Gwinnett Medical Center in critical condition, where she died a short time later.

She was identified by the Gwinnett County Medical Examiner’s office as 32-year-old Joanna E. Rutledge. She died from smoke and soot inhalation, investigator Eric Bailey said.

 

“Two other adult occupants of the townhome unit escaped unharmed and were already outside and safe when fire crews arrived,” Rutledge said. “The two surviving occupants are currently talking with police.”

Channel 2 Action News reported the others inside were the victim’s boyfriend and his mother.

 

Norcross police and the GBI are investigating the death.

“The exact cause of the fire and manner of death are currently undetermined and under active investigation,” Rutledge said. “Specific information about the investigation is not being released at this time.”

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Gwinnett fire and Norcross police respond to an overnight fatal fire at a Summer Place townhome Tuesday. The GBI was requested to assist in the death investigation. (Credit: Gwinnett County Fire Department)

Gwinnett fire and Norcross police respond to an overnight fatal fire at a Summer Place townhome Tuesday. The GBI was requested to assist in the death investigation. (Credit: Gwinnett County Fire Department)

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Gwinnett fire and Norcross police respond to an overnight fatal fire at a Summer Place townhome Tuesday. The GBI was requested to assist in the death investigation. (Credit: Gwinnett County Fire Department)

According to fire officials, the 911 caller, who was not identified, reported something was on fire in the kitchen.

“There is extensive damage inside the unit of origin,” Rutledge said. “It looks like the fire was mostly contained to the one townhome unit with smoke in adjoining units of the building.”

—Please return to AJC.com for updates.