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Girl hailed for quick response
Separate fires char two homes
talllantworth fire 1 jd
Firefighters battle a blaze at a home on Tallantworth Crossing. Two houses caught fire within an hour of each other Thursday. - photo by Jim Dean (previous profile)

Lacey Grizzle knew just what to do when she saw her neighbor’s house on fire.

The 7-year-old was playing in the front yard Thursday afternoon when she heard a popping sound from the house next door on Crystal Cove Trail in north Forsyth.

She said she looked up and saw flames coming out of the home.

“We went and told my friend’s mom that we saw a fire,” said Grizzle, adding that the woman then called 911.

She said she learned about 911 and what to do in an emergency at Chestatee Elementary School, where she’s in the first grade.

Grizzle’s grandmother, Theresa Randle, said she was proud of the girl and grateful that no one was hurt in the fire.

The blaze was one of two in an hour span Thursday afternoon.

The fire department also responded about 6:30 p.m. to a fire on Tallantworth Crossing in west Forsyth.

Forsyth County Fire Capt. Jason Shivers said no one was home at the time and no injuries were reported in connection with the second blaze.

The fires destroyed both homes, he said. The blazes remain under investigation and fire officials have not determined if either is suspicious.

In the Crystal Cove blaze, Shivers said they got the call about 5:30 p.m. and firefighters searched the house for fear someone may have been inside.

The tenants, a couple and their 4-month-old boy, showed up about an hour after firefighters arrived. Also safe were the couple’s two dogs.

One turned up a short time later, while the other was found after the blaze was out. He had been hiding under a bed.

Shivers said the dog was in the same place firefighters had previously looked and may have been hiding elsewhere.

“The dog found a pocket somewhere that she was able to hide in and keep enough fresh air to live,” Shivers said.

About an hour later, firefighters were called to the Tallantworth blaze.

Neighbors reported hearing explosions and said they saw the roof lift before it was engulfed in flames.

Shivers said fire investigators think the explosions likely were caused by high-pressure Freon lines.

“The air-conditioning unit had heavy fire damage,” he said.

The house is the former home of Lynn Turner, who is serving two life sentences after being convicted in the murders of her husband, a former

Cobb County police officer, and later her boyfriend, who was a Forsyth County firefighter.

Between the two house fires, Shivers said the department was summoned to a brush fire on Buford Dam Road.

The Gwinnett County Fire Department handled the blaze. For a few hours Thursday night, fire departments from neighboring Cherokee County,

Johns Creek and Alpharetta also helped with local calls.

“That’s all part of a mutual aid program,” Shivers said. “It’s not uncommon and it’s reciprocal. They help us when we get overwhelmed and we help each of those departments when they get overwhelmed.”