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Family Home Destroyed By Fire on Coldest Night of Season

The fire began in the basement, where a space heater was being used.

A family of four is forced from their Lilburn home during subfreezing temperatures.

Firefighters were called to the home on the 3800 block of Hunting Ridge Drive, SW just before 5:30 Monday evening. 

When crews arrived, they found the two story wood frame home fully engulfed in flames. Part of the house had already collapsed before firefighters could start attacking the fire.

The home was deemed a total loss. A vehicle and a boat parked close to the garage were also damaged by the fire. 

The father and his two teenage sons were home at the time the fire broke out. They were able to make it out of the home safely.

"The mom was on her way home from work and was notified of the fire by her family," said Gwinnett Fire Capt. Tommy Rutledge in an email to Patch. "Only the dad and two boys were home at the time."

Unfortunately, four of the family's dogs were not able to escape. 

The three told firefighters they smelled smoke and realized the basement was on fire. They tried to put it out with fire extinguishers with no luck. 

The cause of the fire is still under investigation, however a space heater was being used in the basement at the time. 

Relatives and neighbors are assisting the displaced family. 

Firefighters faced frigid weather as they fought the flames. The temperature at the time was in the teens. Crews were able to take frequent breaks as they battled the blaze.

"The firefighters were able to seek warmth inside the rehab unit and replenish fluids to stay hydrated before going back out in the cold," said Rutledge.

Rutledge reminds residents to be careful when using space heaters. 

"[We] suggest turning off space heaters whenever you leave the room or when going to sleep," said Rutledge. "Space heaters should never be placed close to combustibles, such as furniture, bedding,curtains or clothing. Remember that space heaters need space and should never be left unattended."


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