A family loses their home, a car, a boat and four of their dogs after fire destroys it all in Lilburn.
Gwinnett County Fire investigators say the family who lived in this two-story wood-frame home on Hunting Ridge Drive smelled smoke in the basement. They say the fire started near a space heater there, which may be to blame, though they are still investigating.
Firefighters battled the fire for several hours Monday night, the below-freezing temperatures and high winds making it a real challenge.
"It makes them tired, it affects their ability and mobility with heavy, wet gear," explained Capt. Tommy Rutledge. "We have our rehab unit on the scene. They allow the firefighters to rotate and take breaks, to go in and hydrate and spend a few minutes in the warmth before coming back out."
Rutledge also pointed out house fires increase this time of year when the weather gets cold. And often it's because people turn to different sources like wood burners and space heaters for warmth.
"We encourage people, if you use space heaters make sure you leave space. They shouldn't be close to any combustible materials. At least 4 feet in all directions," he advised.
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