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LAWRENCEVILLE, GA — A fire broke out at a barbecue chain on Duluth Highway on Tuesday. Firefighters believe the cause was a lightning strike.

Firefighters arrived at Sonny’s BBQ around 8:15 p.m. The restaurant manager, who evacuated the building, reported seeing smoke and flames, according to Gwinnett County Fire and Emergency Services.

The manager was first notified of the fire after a drive-thru customer reported smoke coming from an exterior wall, fire officials said. Firefighters later said employees saw smoke and flames coming from an interior wall near the ceiling.

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Fire officials said the manager then called 911 and began the evacuation.

When emergency responders arrived, they saw flames shooting out of the restaurant’s roof, fire officials said. After getting the fire under control, crews conducted a search and rescue operation to ensure a safe evacuation, fire officials said.

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According to the fire department, no one was injured in the fire. It was an accident caused by a lightning strike.

“This fire reminds us of the importance of fire safety in the workplace,” fire department officials said in a press release.


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