Authorities are trying to determine what caused a Monday night blaze that destroyed a 6,000-square-foot West Hall home and displaced two residents and a pet.
“Everybody was luckily out of the house and safe. Thank God,” homeowner Alison McElvery said.
Hall County Fire Services Capt. Zachary Brackett said the fire has been ruled as “accidental in nature,” but the exact cause is still under investigation.
She and her husband had been renting the house to a woman and her grown son, who couldn’t be reached for comment.
McElvery said the female tenant was at the house Monday night “and heard a pop.”
“When she looked out, the side screened-in porch over the patio was on fire, and she ran to get the fire extinguisher,” McElvery said. “But she quickly realized that (the fire) was too big for her to do anything.
“So, she quickly got her dog and got herself out — which was a God blessing.”
Neighbors said they heard two muffled explosions within a minute of one another, the fire engulfing the home.
Hall County Fire Services says it responded before 8 p.m. to the 5400 block of Spinnaker Lane off Pointe South Drive and Flat Creek Road, not far from Lake Lanier.
The home, valued at $800,000, was heavily involved in fire.
Firefighters changed to a defensive strategy “when parts of the building started to collapse,” Capt. Zachary Brackett wrote in an email.
The home was later deemed a total loss.
The McElverys had lived in the house 12 years, deciding to move to a smaller house in South Hall two years ago.
Still, Alison McElvery got sentimental as she talked about the tragedy.
“I stood there last night and I could remember every memory of every niece and nephew swimming in the pool,” she said.
Seeing the house in flames, “I was just grateful that nobody was hurt.”
News reporter Nick Watson contributed to this report.