36 people without homes after Lawrenceville apartment fire

Firefighters responded at 6:31 a.m. Sunday morning to a neighbor’s report of an apartment fire at the Anzio Apartment Homes located at 3100 Sweetwater Road in Lawrenceville. The 911 caller said there was smoke coming from the neighbor’s apartment in Building 18.

When fire crews arrived, the center of the building was ablaze as firefighters rapidly deployed fire attack hose lines and completed a walk-around looking for victims.

Gwinnett County Police helped evacuate the building. Firefighters on the front side of the building began knocking back the flames while another crew deployed a hose line to the rear of the building. Firefighters continued to make headway and transitioned to an aggressive interior attack to stop the progression of fire to additional units.

Flames had ripped through all three levels of the building and extended into the attic. Additional crews on scene checked adjoining apartments for fire extension, completed multiple searches for victims and deployed ground ladders.

According to the Gwinnett County Fire Department, the fire was brought under control about 40 minutes after arrival.

Two of the 14 units were extensively damaged by the fire with minor smoke and water damage throughout the rest of the building. The natural gas and power were locked-out by the utility companies. No injuries were reported.

One of the occupants whose apartment was extensively damaged told firefighters he was awakened by his smoke alarm and noticed fire on the back side of the building. He was able to escape out the front door of his apartment.

Other neighbors were soon alerted and began knocking on doors and evacuating the entire apartment building. While only two units were significantly affected by fire, the electricity was not able to be isolated to those individual apartments. A total of 25 adults and 11 children were displaced from 13 occupied units. The American Red Cross was contacted for temporary assistance to those in need.

A fire investigator responded to the scene for origin and cause determination. The investigator determined the fire originated on the rear balcony of a main floor apartment in the center of the building. The cause remains undetermined and under investigation.

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