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Body Found in Snellville-Area House Fire

Firefighters discovered the deceased man while digging out debris at the burned home on Lake Drive. Two others were injured.

A deceased man was discovered Friday (Jan. 10) after firefighters tackled a house fire in unincorporated Snellville. 

Gwinnett County Fire and DeKalb County Fire crews were in the process of digging out debris from the remains of the burned home, located on the 800 block of Lake Drive, when they discovered the body around 8:30 a.m., according to a news release from Gwinnett.

The man was staying in the home with relatives when the fire occurred. The name of the fatal fire victim has not been released.

"This fire is an example of why it's so important to quickly escape a burning building," said Gwinnett Fire spokesman Capt. Tommy Rutledge. "Never waste time inside. Get out and stay out. Nothing is worth your life. Every home should be equipped with working smoke alarms on every level and in each of the bedrooms. Have an escape plan practice fire drills regularly."

The home's two other occupants, a man and a woman, also were injured, according to Rutledge. They were on the main level of the residence and the deceased male was staying in the basement. He was last seen going back down the stairs before the fire department arrived.  

Neighbors reported the fire and heavy flames around 1:45 a.m., but fire crews were not able to immediately enter the structure due to the magnitude of the fire and collapse conditions.  

They used multiple hose lines and an aerial ladder device to control the blaze and protect exposures, but faced access problems with being able to battle the blaze from multiple vantage points.  

Firefighters from Gwinnett and DeKalb counties operated at the scene due to the close proximity to the county line. The fire is located in Gwinnett and units from DeKalb were able to be released from the scene after a period of time.

The exact cause of the fire is currently undetermined, under investigation by the fire department.

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