No injuries were reported in a Dawson County house fire that saw firefighter efforts impacted by a large crowd of onlookers.
Dawson County Fire Chief Danny Thompson said crews were dispatched from four fire stations when the call came in Monday afternoon.
"At about 3:44 [p.m.], Dawson County E911 received multiple calls for a residential house fire in the Chestatee subdivision. The actual address is 193 River Sound Lane," Thompson said during a later phone conversation. "Our first engine arrived at 3:48, and had heavy fire on the roof."
The fire was brought under control in around 12 minutes, but had already caused substantial damage to the roof of the home. Damage to the exterior of the roof and an interior attic space was the most notable, although water damage was also reported throughout the building.
Thompson said the owners of the residence, which was undergoing renovations, were home at the time of the fire, but were able to escape without incident.
One major problem that firefighters did face in battling the fire was a high number of spectators that gathered around the scene after the fire broke out.
"One of the big issues that we had is that we had a lot of people parking in the streets, and a large crowd of spectators kind of in the way and in the area of getting firefighting vehicles in here," Thompson said. A number of golf carts in the surrounding area were also reported.
Fortunately, Thompson said, that interference didn't hamper fire suppression efforts.
"We just want to make people mindful that when fire departments have a fire, stay clear of the area," he said. "Leave the roadways open for emergency vehicle access so we can get the equipment in there and be able to protect their neighbors."
The cause of the fire is under investigation, although Thompson said it did not appear to be suspicious in nature.