No one was injured, but several Gwinnett County residents were chased out of their homes by fires that were sparked by lightning generated by Friday night storms.
Gwinnett County firefighters responded to three separate house fires, one in Dacula and two in Lawrenceville.
In the Dacula fire, firefighters were called to a home on Luke Edwards Road just before 11:30 p.m. A caller to 911 reported hearing a loud boom and were alerted by smoke alarms. When they investigated, they found smoke and flames in their basement. Fire department officials said fire crews were able to contain the fire to the basement of the 12,000-square-foot home. The house suffered moderate damage.
About 40 minutes later at 12:08 a.m. Saturday, crews were dispatched to a quadraplex on Patterson Court in Lawrenceville. When they arrived, firefighters found fire burning in a second-floor laundry room. Investigators said lightning hit an electrical outlet to a clothes dryer and ignited a pile of clothing in the laundry room The two women who lived in the unit were able to get out without injury. They were displaced as a result of the fire. Occupants of the other three units were allowed to remain in their homes.
The third fire was reported just after 12:20 a.m. on Autumn Shore Drive in Lawrenceville. Residents of the house said they heard lightning hit the house and the power went out. When they reset the breakers, smoke alarms in the house began to sound and the occupants noticed smoke in the kitchen. Fire investigators said the fire was discovered in the floor system between the basement and the first floor of the house. While the home sustained moderate damage, there was smoke and water damage to a large portion of the home. The seven occupants - four adults and three children - are getting temporary assistance from the American Red Cross.
Fire investigators determined all three fires were sparked by lightning strikes.