An Oconee County house that burned on Christmas Day five years ago caught fire Saturday morning, authorities said.
Firefighters rushed to the scene at 1160 Daniels Bridge Road just before 6:30 a.m. Saturday to find heavy smoke billowing and fire venting from rear of house, Fire Chief Bruce Thaxton said. No one was home at the time.
Stations 1 and 8 responded with two Engines, Ladder 1, two Rescue Trucks, Air Trailer, Squad 1, and a Command vehicle along with 24 firefighters, he reported. National EMS also stood by.
The road was shut down for two hours in order for firefighters to access a fire hydrant across the street.
The house is still standing, but the inside is gutted, Thaxton said. The garage was saved. The cause of the fire is unknown at this time, but he said the State Fire Marshal's Office is investigating.
Thaxton said house belongs to Jeffrey Allen Bishop, and it's not the first time it burned.
On Christmas Day in 2006, fire that originated in the bedroom caused extensive structural damage throughout the house, Thaxton told the Athens Banner-Herald at the time.
Thaxton said Saturday he was unable to recall the cause of that fire and he would check into it.
Bishop has had trouble with the law in the past.
In 2008, Oconee County Sheriff's deputies raided his home and found what they described to the Athens Banner-Herald as a small-scale meth lab for personal use. Bishop, 54, was charged with manufacturing methamphetamine. According to a Georgia database, Bishop was paroled in April 2011 after having been convicted and jailed for possession.