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Model Rocket Starts Brush Fire in Gwinnett County Park, Man Charged

Officials say a bottle rocket sparked a five-acre fire blaze at Alexander Park, just outside of Snellville, on Saturday. A 42-year-old man was charged with violating an ordinance that prohibits such devices in county parks.

A bottle rocket is being blamed for a five-acre fire in Alexander Park on Saturday, and a man has been charged in the incident.

It took a little more than an hour for some 30 firefighters to bring the blaze under control at the Gwinnett County Park, along Scenic Highway just outside of Snellville.

No injuries were reported, and no other structures were damaged, according to a press statement from Gwinnett County Fire and Emergency Services.

In the press release, fire officials did not identify the 42-year-old man, but said that he was charged with starting the fire with a model rocket.

"It is a Gwinnett County ordinance that prohibits persons from shooting off model rockets within Gwinnett County parks," said Lt. Eric Eberly, of Gwinnett Fire and Emergency Services, adding that he was unsure of the exact details of the code. "But the law is intended specifically for what he violated.

"My understanding is it is a misdemeanor, and he will have to pay a fine for the ticket issued. Fire investigators will not be adding to the charges at this time."

The fire ignited a large section of dense bush that officials said threatened several areas of the park.

Multiple fire engines responded and a firefighters used a special 8,000-gallon water truck to reach difficult areas. Also, emergency workers used a cooling unit because of the intense summer heat. 

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