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The fire was started using an accelerant on the stairs.
Dalton Fire Department Engineer Jared Burns was commended during the meeting for his actions while off-duty Sept. 5.
Residents were told that Monday was the earliest they could return to their homes.
14 firefighters have missed work with the virus this month, a period in which medical calls related to COVID-19 have picked up significantly.
Gwinnett County fire officials said they found the victim's body in the basement.
Presently, 15 people who would normally be serving at one of the county's nine stations is out with the virus.
Hopson, with the fire department since 1990, was just promoted to his role in November.