Man arrested on arson charges after Gwinnett house fire

Police arrested a man accused of felony arson and domestic violence related to a house fire in Lawrenceville on Saturday evening.

Gwinnett County firefighters responded at around 9 p.m. to a house fire on the 450 block of Highgate Drive. 

Officials said a woman called 911 and said her husband was locked inside a bedroom and he had set something on fire. The caller said they got the rest of the family out of the house. Investigators said she was alerted by smoke alarms. 

Firefighters saw some light smoke coming from upstairs at the scene.

"The fires started in the upstairs bedroom, and that's where crews were initiating a search in that area, trying to find the potential victim," Gwinnett County Fire Capt. Brian Gaeth said. "The fire rapidly spread to the attic and eventually consumed most of the upstairs."

Crews entered the home and went to the upstairs bedroom and saw dark smoke but no visible fire. Officials said the fire worsened and two firefighters signaled they were in trouble. Crews found the two firefighters and treated them for minor burns. 

Once everyone was accounted for, lines were put in place to bring the fire under control. Two firefighters suffered burn injuries and were transported to a local hospital for treatment. Their injuries are non-life-threatening and they are currently with family members and representatives from the department. 

Officials said the arson suspect was outside of the house prior to the arrival of firefighters and said he started the fire by accident. Officials said the fire was set in an upstairs closet while the man’s wife, children and mother-in-law were in the home. 

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