Snellville house fire was started by grill, firefighters say

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SNELLVILLE — Firefighters responded at 11:35 p.m. Sunday to an occupant report of a house fire on Tree Lane SW in unincorporated Snellville.

The 911 caller said the grill on the deck was on fire and everyone was out of the home.

On arrival, crews found heavy fire showing from the rear of a large two-story residence with a finished basement. Two fire engines were able to access the gated residential driveway. Upon the initial walkaround, heavy flames were concentrated on the back deck with extension into the home. An aggressive interior fire attack was attempted but due to intense heat and rapid fire development, all crews were backed out of the structure to begin a defensive attack.

Four hose lines were used to get a knock down on the fire prior to crews transitioning back to an interior attack for final extinguishment. 

Searches confirmed there were no victims inside the structure.

The fire was brought under control at approximately 1 a.m. with heavy fire damage throughout much of the home. An adult male occupant was treated and released at the scene after sustaining a minor burn injury while attempting to extinguish the fire with a garden hose.

According to the family, one of the occupants smelled smoke inside the home and located the fire on the back deck near the grill. While the family and dog evacuated, smoke alarms began sounding as smoke entered the home.

Family members said they had used the grill earlier in the day. A total of five occupants including three adults and two children were displaced. The occupants declined assistance from the American Red Cross. 

A fire investigator responded to the scene for origin and cause determination. The fire investigator classified the fire as accidental, originating on the back deck in the area of multiple built-in appliances including the grill.

For additional information on home fire safety, please contact the Gwinnett Fire and Emergency Services’ Community Risk Reduction Division at 678-518-4845 or email

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