LAWRENCEVILLE — A house fire that has been ruled arson sent two firefighters to the hospital just after 9 p.m. Saturday night.
Firefighters responded to a reported house fire on Highgate Drive in Lawrenceville. The caller to 9-1-1 said her husband was locked inside the bedroom and he had set something on fire.
The caller got the rest of the family out of the house but believed her husband was inside the bedroom.
Firefighters arrived on scene with light smoke showing. Crews performed a walkaround with light smoke coming from the upstairs. Crews entered the structure and immediately went to the upstairs bedroom where the resident was reported to be. They initially encountered dark smoke but no visible fire.
Conditions quickly deteriorated and two firefighters called a “mayday”, signaling to those on scene that they were in trouble. The firefighters were quickly found and were led out of the structure to awaiting med crews for evaluation. Once all firefighters were accounted for, lines were put in place to bring the fire under control.
Two firefighters suffered burn injuries and were transported to a local hospital for treatment. Their injuries are non-life-threatening.
The male resident was outside of the house prior to the arrival of firefighters and fire officials say he admitted to authorities that he started the fire but claimed it was by accident.
The man was taken into custody on scene by Gwinnett County Fire Investigations, and is being charged with Felony Arson and Domestic Violence.
Fire officials say the fire was set in an upstairs closet while the man’s wife, children and mother-in-law were in the home. The wife was alerted by the smoke alarms and was able to get the rest of the family outside to safety.