BUFORD — A fire investigator with the Gwinnett County Fire Department responded to the aftermath of a fire that gutted a 1930s home in Buford early Saturday morning.

The home located at 953 West Shadburn Ave. was consumed with flames and it was a neighbor who called 9-1-1 to report the fire at approximately 4:11 a.m. on Saturday.

Firefighters found the home to be heavily engulfed in flames on the front portion of the home.  They deployed attack hose lines to work on knocking the flames down on the front but they also began an attack on the rear of the home in order to gain entry to search for anyone that may be inside.  As crews were searching the home, the homeowners arrived to advise that no one was inside of the home. Firefighters located a family cat inside and rushed it outside to try to revive it.  They placed a pet oxygen mask on it but ultimately their efforts failed and the cat was pronounced deceased.

Due to many remodels over the years, putting out the fire was challenging.  “The fire continued to progress through false ceilings and void spaces as firefighting efforts were hampered due to the construction and renovation of the 1930’s home. It took nearly two hours and thirty firefighters to bring the incident under control. Extensive overhaul was required to extinguish hotspots,” said Lt. Justin Wilson with Gwinnett County Fire and Emergency Services.

Parts of the roof and floor collapsed due to the extensive damage caused by the fire making the home a total loss.

The fire investigator responded to the scene and determined that the fire was accidental in nature and started on the front porch “due to the improper disposal of smoking materials.”

Six fire engines and a ladder truck were called into use during the blaze, as well as a squad, a medic unit, one air/light unit, two battalion chiefs, two fire investigators and a public information officer.

— Staff Reports

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