NORCROSS, GA — Firefighters say multiple people sustained minor injuries from moderate smoke inhalation after a duplex caught fire in the early-morning hours of New Year's Day.
According to Gwinnett County fire officials, fire crews arrive around 12:15 a.m. to find heavy flames and smoke coming from the right side of the duplex on the 1200 block of McPherson Lane near unincorporated Norcross. All of the residents were already outside of the building. Fire crews were working to knock down the rest of the fire.
Authorities said three people sustained moderate injuries due to smoke inhalation. One person was transported to the hospital to treat a minor burn injury, and the other two were released at the scene by paramedics.
Firefighters say that the family had been outside setting off fireworks to 'ring in the New Year' when someone noticed smoke coming from inside their home.
There were a total of 10 people present at the time of the fire. Two were visiting from out of town and a total of eight residents have been displaced at this time; four adults and four children.
Gwinnett Fire PIO Captain Tommy Rutledge wanted to remind residents to be safe, especially during the cold weather months,
“Well we want to make sure that during New Years, or any time of the year that fireworks are being used for festive gatherings, that people use them responsibly.
Make sure that you're on a hard, flat surface. Not in the grass. Make sure that you're not close to anything combustible - vehicles, houses, buildings. So it's just acting responsibly with fireworks devices. Again, we don't know if fireworks are the cause of this fire.
We would want people, over the next few days, especially throughout the cold weather months, make sure you check your fireplace, make sure your furnace has been serviced, make sure that if you're burning candles that you blow them out before you go to bed, using a space heater to heat the home or the room you're in, make sure that you turn it off when you leave the room or when you go to sleep. It's just making sure that you're following proper fire safety practices during the cold weather months and during holiday gatherings.”
The American Red Cross has been contacted to assist the families affected by the fire.
Firefighters are still not sure of what caused the fire and are still investigating at this time.