• Family escapes Dam Store fire near Lake Lanier


    BUFORD, Ga. - A 6-year-old boy is being credited with helping to save his family from their burning home.

    The boy’s mother, Noel Clark, told Channel 2’s Darryn More that her family of six was living above the Dam Store on Buford Dam Road near Lake Lanier when a fire broke out. The family operates the business.

    Clark said her son, Ret, smelled smoke and woke her up. She rounded up her family and they were able to get out of the residential part of the store, which burned to the ground.

    “I woke up my husband, Tony, and grabbed the kids and realized that Cody wasn’t with us. Tony and I went back upstairs, grabbed him and when we came out, we heard a loud boom,” Clark said.

    Firefighters believe the explosion was from an air compressor.

    "We are fortunate that everyone was able to escape unharmed, especially given the intensity of the fire on arrival," said Gwinnett Fire Captain Tommy Rutledge.

    Crews were able to stop the fire from spreading to the other half of the building, which is a restaurant.

    Investigators have not determined what sparked the fire. They plan to take a closer look Wednesday morning.

    The Clark family said the Dam Store has been icon in the Buford area for 60 years.

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