GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. -- Crews on the scene of a two-story blaze in Gwinnett said it grew so intense that part of the roof collapsed as they attempted to battle it on Thursday.
According to Gwinnett Fire spokesperson Captain Tommy Rutledge, the fire was first reported in the 1500 block of Hillary Cove Court outside of Lawrenceville around 8:50 p.m.
Firefighters arrived within minutes but were met with heavy flames from the garage upon arriving on the scene. At one point, the fire broke through the roof and brought it down on top of the garage area of the home damaging a vehicle.
The heat was so intense that it melted vinyl siding on a neighboring home and caused some cosmetic damage. However, the crews did manage to keep the actual fire from spreading to it.
Investigators are still working to find the cause of the fire but said it appears to have started in the garage and spread through the walls into the second floor an attic.
According to a statement from Captain Rutledge, a family of five was inside the home when the fire first started.
They were alerted by the smell of smoke and tracked the source back to the garage. Attempts to put the flames out with water and a fire extinguisher were unsuccessful but Rutledge said all of them made it out safely. The Red Cross has come to assist them with necessities until they can find somewhere else to live.
Fire investigators said the family was renting the home and, as of midnight, they were still working to get in contact with the owner.