Gwinnett County Fire Department

GWINNETT County, Ga. (CBS46)— A large fire not only destroyed a Duluth apartment building but also displaced 20 residents early monday afternoon. 

The fire broke out at the Portico Apartments on Preston Park Drive in unincorporated Duluth around 12:52 p.m. 

Firefighters rushed to the building after a caller said that the fire was spreading fast in the area. When crew members arrived to the scene, they discovered heavy smoke and flames billowing from the third-floor balcony of a corner apartment unit. The building was evacuated prior to arrival and no injuries were reported, police told CBS46 News. 

Around 1:37 p.m., crew members were able to contain the large fire. Authorities reported that residents of the third-floor corner apartment discovered the balcony on fire after smelling an odor of smoke inside the apartment unit. According to fire investigators, the massive blaze caused heavy fire damage to two apartments, the attic, and the roof on the left side of the breezeway.

Later that day, fire investigators determined the the blaze to be accidental. The investigator is unable to rule out smoking materials as a possible cause for the fire, officials told CBS46 News. Around 14 units were affected by this fire. 

Large fire destroys Duluth apartment building, 20 people displaced | Video courtesy of Gwinnett County Fire Department

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