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Storms destroy mobile homes, spark house fires
Firefighters battle four blazes
loblolly
Firefighters battle a blaze Wednesday afternoon at a home on Loblolly Lane. - photo by Jim Dean

Afternoon storms Wednesday likely contributed to fires, fallen trees and downed power lines in Forsyth County, authorities said.

The Forsyth County Fire Department responded to four house fires and several other incidents as the storms rolled through, Division Chief Jason Shivers said.

“On three separate occasions during the evening, our fire department was completely committed,” Shivers said. “We had no fire units left available.”

The storms began about 4 p.m., and calls continued to come in throughout the evening.

Utility lines and trees were down throughout the county, but Shivers said the worst instance was on Homesteaders Drive in south Forsyth.

Three mobile homes at the park were “damaged beyond repair” after a tree fell through them, he said.

A fourth was unlivable for the night, but would be able to be repaired. A fifth was also evacuated while a damaged tree leaning against it was cut down.

Shivers said the Red Cross was called to the park to find shelter for the residents forced from their homes.

Two major house fires, likely caused by lightning strikes, had firefighters battling blazes until nearly 11 p.m., he said.

Those fires were on Loblolly Lane, off Hawk Creek Road east of Cumming, and on Crossland Drive in west Forsyth.

“Unfortunately both of those families are displaced with heavy damage to the upper portions of those homes,” he said.

Residents were inside at both places, but able to get out with no injuries, Shivers said.

Two minor house fires were also put out quickly following the storms, including another home on Crossland Drive and at a condominium on Tribble Gap Road near Cumming.

“While I can’t confirm, I find it likely that these structure fires, trees and power lines are going to be storm related,” Shivers said.

When the county fire department is fully committed, he said, neighboring cities and counties will lend aid if it’s available.

Cherokee County sent some units Wednesday, but the storms kept most emergency responders tied up.

“At one point, Johns Creek had asked us for assistance, but we didn’t have the resources to send them,” he said.

Today’s weather outlook shows a 30 percent chance of rain during the day and a 50 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms at night.

The weekend forecast calls for a 40 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms on Saturday and a 50 percent chance on Sunday.

Online Editor Jim Dean contributed to this report.