Fire that destroyed Buford home caused by discarded cigarette

A 1930s home in Buford was destroyed by a fire caused by a discarded cigarette in the early hours of Saturday morning. A cat died in the blaze.

“Fire investigators advised it was a discarded cigarette in potting soil that smoldered and eventually spread to the home,” said Gwinnett County Fire Dept. spokesman Justin Wilson.

Firefighters responded at 4:20 a.m. to a neighbor’s report of a house fire on W Shadburn Avenue in the city of Buford. The 911 caller said the house was near the railroad tracks and the entire front of the house was on fire.

When fire crews arrived heavy fire was consuming the front of a single-story residence on a crawl space. As crews were working to search for victims, family members arrived on scene and told firefighters there were no occupants in the home. As crews completed the search of the home, a cat was located inside and removed. An attempt to revive the cat with a pet oxygen mask was unsuccessful.

The fire continued to progress through false ceilings and void spaces. Firefighting efforts were hampered due to the construction and renovation of the 1930s home. It took nearly two hours and 30 firefighters to bring the blaze under control.

The home is considered a total loss after sustaining heavy fire damage including partial collapses of the floor and ceilings. No injuries were reported at the scene.

According to the homeowners, a family member resides at the residence and was not home at the time of the blaze. The family was notified by neighbors that the house was on fire.