LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. - A devastating double house fire left two Lawrenceville families homeless just days before the Thanksgiving Day holiday.
One of the homeowners said he was able to get his five children out of their home right before it went up in flames.
The fires happened in the 600 block of Old Johnson Road in Lawrenceville. The exact cause of the fire is still under investigation right now, but firefighters said it started in one of the homes sometime before 1:30 Tuesday afternoon, and then somehow spread to this neighboring house.
The homeowner of the second house said he was beside himself that it happened just two days before the holidays.
“It was devastating. Everything we had was in that house. We have nothing now,” said homeowner Tremayne Wheeler.
Wheeler said he noticed smoke coming from his neighbor’s home when he looked out his window.
“The whole porch was just burned up and it was just coming and coming. It happened so fast,”said Wheeler.
Wheeler said he hurried his five kids, including an 8-month-old and 2-year-old, out the door. And he did it just in time.
“We knew we had a pretty serious fire when trucks arrived on the scene,” said Gwinnett County Fire Department Capt. Tommy Rutledge.
Wheeler and his kids made it out safely from their house, but not all of the neighbor’s pets survived the fire in their home. The owners weren’t home, and two dogs and two cats were rescued, but two other cats didn’t make it. The Red Cross will provide temporary assistance to both families.
“I’ll leave it in God’s hands now. That’s all I can do,” said Wheeler.
It's unknown whether the dry weather contributed to this fire spreading from house to house.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation. No one was injured.