Gwinnett County

Gwinnett family rebuilding for the holidays after fire destroys apartment building

GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. — A Gwinnett County family is one of several who are being forced to rebuild right before the holiday season after a fire ripped through a Duluth apartment complex Friday morning.

Channel 2′s Matt Johnson spoke with Courtney Yarbough who says she, her two small children and their father all escaped with their lives just after midnight after their neighbor came knocking on their door because of an out-of-control kitchen fire at the neighbor’s apartment.

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“I told my son to duck and to just run to the car,” said Yarbough, adding that the flames were making it hard to breathe.

After her family was safe, she wanted to make sure her neighbors survived too.

“I got to as many doors as I could to alert people there was a fire,” she said. “Our neighbors upstairs were jumping from the balcony.”

Five days later, Yarbough is charting a path to rebuild after losing everything in the fire. Furniture, clothes, priceless heirlooms and gifts from her late mother are all gone.

“We’re just sitting and waiting to just to see what’s left,” she said, “if anything.”

She’s raising money online to try and replace lost items for he family.


Gwinnett County fire fighters say Yarbough’s family are four of the eighteen people displaced from the fire.

They say the fire started when a neighbor lost control of a kitchen fire while cooking.

“We want people to know two ways in and out of their houses or apartments,” said Cpt. Ryan McGiboney with Gwinnett Fire.

Gwinnett County firefighters say as temperatures drop, the risk of more fires increases.

“There are more fires occurring, especially these last couple of weeks,” he said.

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