Fire displaces 20, kills 2 cats in unincorporated Tucker

Gwinnett County Fire and Emergency Services on May 7 responded to a fire at the Somerset at the Crossing apartments in unincorporated Tucker. Image provided by Gwinnett County Fire and Emergency Services

Tucker, GA — Gwinnett County Fire and Emergency Services reports that a fire caused by a toaster oven displaced 20 residents of an apartment complex and killed two cats.

The fire occurred on May 7 around 1:22 p.m. at the Somerset at the Crossing apartments on Summerwalk Parkway in unincorporated Tucker.

According to a press release, the 911 caller was transferred from DeKalb County 911 to Gwinnett County 911.

“On arrival, crews located a working fire at a two-story, eight-unit apartment building,” the press release says. “Fire attack hose lines were immediately deployed while a walkaround of the structure was completed. Heavy fire involvement was found throughout the first and second floor apartments, extending to the attic on the left-rear corner of the building. Firefighters worked to quickly evacuate the remaining units while crews worked to knock down the flames.

“A total of three hose lines were deployed to control the blaze and bring the fire under control in approximately 20 minutes. During a search of the structure, two cats were found dead inside the primary fire unit on the first floor. A rapid intervention crew was established, and multiple ground ladders were deployed to second floor windows around the structure. Positive pressure ventilation was used to remove residual smoke from the building. The two units that were originally involved sustained extensive fire damage. The other six units sustained minor smoke or water damage. No injuries were reported.”

Firefighters concluded that the fire started with “improper use of a cooking appliance.”

“The occupants of the apartment stated there were three people home at the time of the fire, and one person had recently cooked a pizza in a toaster oven on the kitchen countertop,” the press release says. “When smoke was later seen coming from the kitchen, the occupants attempted to extinguish the fire, but were unsuccessful and evacuated. Smoke alarms in the heavily damaged units were not working at the time of the fire, according to the occupants.”

The American Red Cross provided temporary assistance to the 20 residents who were displaced, which included 14 adults and six children.

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