Gwinnett firefighters battle a house fire in subfreezing temps to rescue two dogs on Sunday, Jan. 21, 2024. Photo courtesy of Gwinnett County Fire and Emergency Services.

Gwinnett County firefighters were faced with challenging below-freezing temps and a fully involved house fire early Sunday morning, Jan. 21 in Buford to rescue two dogs believed to be trapped inside the engulfed home.

Firefighters reunite two dogs after the home caught fire Sunday morning, Jan. 21, 2024. Photo courtesy of Gwinnett County Fire and Emergency Services.

At 6 a.m., firefighters from multiple fire stations responded to a 911 call where the caller stated that a home was on fire in the 1800 block of Patrick Mill Place NE in Buford. Moments later the 911 center received an additional call about this fire. This call came from the homeowner of the engulfed home who stated that their two dogs were trapped inside.

When firefighters arrived at 6:07 a.m., they set to work to extinguish the fire and protect the neighbor’s home which was already sustaining damage with melting siding. Fire crews gained control of the fire at 6:35 a.m. and were able to search the structure to make sure everyone had gotten out. As firefighters continued to look for the two missing dogs, they worked on still-smoldering sections of the home. The dogs were found and reunited with their owners.

The homeowner told firefighters that he was woken up by a loud “boom” and upon investigating the sound he found a fire in his garage. He immediately made his escape and called 911.

One adult was treated on the scene with non-life-threatening injuries and released. No other injuries were reported at the scene.

The home is considered a total loss which has resulted in three adults and two dogs being displaced. The Red Cross was called to assist them.

With temperatures below 14 degrees, a sand/salt truck treats for ice as a result of water runoff from the fire on Patrick Mill Place NE in Buford. Photo courtesy of Gwinnett County Fire and Emergency Services.

With temperatures below 12 degrees Fahrenheit at the time of the fire, crews faced additional challenges. Concerns about the water freezing on the street prompted the fire department to call in a sand/salt truck from the Gwinnett County Department of Transportation to treat the area for ice.

The Buford Gas Department and Georgia Power also responded to the scene to shut off utilities.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Four engines, one truck, one squad, two med units, one command staff vehicle, one air and light unit, one Search and Rescue Unit, a fire investigator and fire PIO were called to the scene.

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