By Alicia Couch Payne

Autumn Lake Drive House Fire
The home on Autumn Lake Drive in Buford was fully engulfed in flames when Gwinnett County firefighters arrived on the scene on Monday night.  Photo courtesy J. Turner.

At approximately 7:45 p.m. firefighters from Gwinnett County responded to a call about a fire in the 4100 block of Autumn Lake Drive in Buford.  The call to 9-1-1 was placed by a neighbor who noticed the flames coming from the home. The neighbor then knocked on the door to alert the two residents of the home about the fire.  

Upon arrival to the fire, crews found a single-story, single-family home on a basement fully engulfed in flames.  Both occupants of the home were already standing outside of the home when crews arrived. Firefighters used a large attack line to begin knocking down the fire from the front yard while several secondary lines were deployed to protect exposures.  

Gwinnett Fire had to deploy their ladder truck and raise the ladder to fight the fire from above the home.  The ladder truck poured water into the house for approximately twenty minutes before firefighters were able to begin fighting the fire from the inside of the structure.

I was able to speak with the homeowner on the scene.  He stated that he was going to cook french fries and was heating up oil on the stove to fry them in.  He then sat down and took his work shoes off. That was the last thing he remembered before a neighbor was pounding on his front door to alert him of the fire.  He said he had been tired and guess dozed off while waiting on the oil to heat up. The fire investigator confirmed that the unsupervised oil was the cause of the fire.

The home was occupied by the male homeowner and a roommate who also made it out of the home unharmed.  He said he did not have any inside pets but does have one outdoor cat. He assumes the cat is unharmed but is not 100% sure.  More than likely the chaos of the fire spooked the cat and it will show back up for him to get.

The fire was under control at 8:30 p.m.  Two engines, one ladder truck, one squad, one medical unit, one air and light unit, 2 battalion chiefs, one fire investigator, and one PIO responded to the scene.  The home is a total loss and the American Red Cross was called in to assist the residents,

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