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Abandoned house destroyed by fire in west Athens

By Joe Johnson

At 8:50 p.m. Wednesday Athens-Clarke County Fire and Emergency Services units were dispatched to a reported structure fire at 417 Hawthorne Extension.

"The first units arrived at the scene at 8:53 pm.," ACCFES Battalion Chief Nate Miss said. "On arrival, there was an abandoned structure that was fully engulfed in flames."

Hawthorne Extension is a side street off of Hawthorne Avenue, and the house that burned had a reputation as a shelter for homeless people and a location for consuming illegal drugs.

Firefighters overcame a few access issues to make an exterior firefighting operation on the burning structure, he said, adding that high ambient temperatures from the day, were also a factor, "but firefighting crews worked well as a team and effectively managed the operation.  

After firefighters extinguished the fire, investigators were called in. At this point, the cause is undetermined and investigators are following up to continue their investigation in the daylight hours. There were no reports of injuries.

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