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Arson ruled out as cause of house fire
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Officials have ruled out arson as the cause of a blaze that gutted the basement of a 4,500-square-foot home in the Sterling on the Lake subdivision Tuesday morning, the second house fire in the neighborhood in the past week. No one was hurt.

Hall County Fire Chief David Kimbrell estimated the damage to the house in the 8000 block of Sleepy Lagoon Way at $125,000 to $150,000.

Firefighters responded to the call about 6:30 a.m. Tuesday, when the homeowner smelled smoke and found the fire in the basement.

The fire caused significant heat and smoke damage in the lower portion of the home, Kimbrell said.

Firefighters were at the scene for about two hours. The cause of the fire has not been determined, but it is believed to be accidental, Kimbrell said.

Officials believe a fire that burned a home on Brookstone Circle in the same subdivision last Thursday was also accidental. Kimbrell said an electrical problem is suspected.