2 Gwinnett homes destroyed in fires

Two separate fires in Gwinnett County displaced 14 people early Saturday.

About 1:14 a.m., firefighters responded to a report of a house fire in the 3400 block of Oak Drive in Lawrenceville, Gwinnett fire Capt. Tommy Rutledge said in an emailed statement. When they got there, they found a two-story, wood-frame house and three vehicles parked in the driveway engulfed in flames.

Six adults and three children lived at the home, but only four adults were there at the time of the fire. They heard a popping sound coming from the garage and escaped unharmed, Rutledge said. The family’s pet dog was missing.

The fire was brought under control about 2:22 a.m., but “the home is a total loss,” Rutledge said.

“The exact cause of the fire is currently undetermined and is under investigation. The blaze appears to have started in garage and quickly spread throughout the home.”

The displaced family was receiving aid from the American Red Cross, Rutledge said.

About 3:40 a.m., two adults and one teenager were alerted to a fire at their house by another noise — their smoke alarm.

Five people live in the home, which is in the 700 block of Berryman Place in Lawrenceville, but only three were home at the time of the fire, Rutledge said.

Those three were asleep at the time. They awoke to find thick smoke in the garage and ran outside, Rutledge said.

“This fire is a prime example of how important home smoke alarms really are,” he said.

A man tried to douse the fire with a portable extinguisher, but the flames were too powerful. The fire quickly consumed the attic and second floor and caused a collapse of the roof, Rutledge said.

The five members of that family were displaced as well.

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