The Gwinnet County Fire Department was treating a small fire sparked by a power line in the city of Norcross when the crew noticed smoke and fire at a nearby landscaping business Thursday afternoon.
According to a news release from Gwinnett Fire Capt. Tommy Rutledge, the incident started at 4:58 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 10. Firefighters from Fire Station 1 were tending to a brush fire sparked by the downed line about 30 feet behind the business, located on the 5300 block of Old Norcross Road. A passerby had called in after hearing a loud boom and saw an electrical arc in the area behind CVS pharmacy on Buford Highway and Langford Road.
The firefighters had the fire under control in 10 minutes, but then they noticed smoke coming from the eaves of the business, which was closed.
"Crews had no reason to suspect anything was wrong at the nearby business until they were alerted by the smoke," says the release.
At 5:14 p.m. the lieutenant on the fire engine redirected their efforts to the building, which they had to force entry into in order to combat the blaze and conduct a search.
It took until 5:42 p.m. for the firefighters to get the flames under control at the landscaping business. The fire caused moderate damage to a portion of the main-level floor and extended to the second floor.
"We were fortunate to have a fire crew already on the scene when the building caught fire," said Gwinnett Fire Capt. Tommy Rutledge. "The firefighters acted quickly to control the fire at the business and protect the property."
No one was at the business at the time of the fire and no injuries were reported.
The incident caused traffic congestion during the evening rush hour, but was handled by the Norcross Police Department. It is unknown at this point what caused the high-tension line to come down and whether the failed line contributed in any way to the business fire erupting, according to the release.