Fire Guts Part of Jacksonville (FL) Apartment Complex

Dan Scanlan

The Florida Times-Union

(TNS)

A huge fire left multiple families homeless as their Westside apartment complex unit was gutted, according to the Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department.

Standing in front of the complex at 8050 103rd St., Fire Chief Keith Powers said it was called in at 2:45 p.m.

The first units rolled in minutes later to find the 12-unit apartment building fully involved, Powers said.

“They reported fire coming through the roof when they got on scene,” Powers said. “… It caused 21 adults and seven children to be displaced. We will be out there a good while mopping this up and have crews through the night making sure we don’t have any hot spots that flare up.”

Eleven units were occupied, but no one was injured, and two kittens were rescued, the chief said.

A brick firewall in the attic space off the two-story center section prevented the blaze from spreading to other units to the east as the roof collapsed, Powers said. No cause has been determined yet as the American Red Cross was called in to help the homeless families.

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About 40 fire trucks responded with about 115 firefighters, including a team from Naval Air Station Jacksonville. The fire took about 90 minutes to get under control, Powers said.

“That roof was collapsing and we couldn’t get inside that area.,” Powers said. “They had to get into other areas, pull ceiling down and get in and put the fire ouit in the attic and that is just labor intensive.”

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The state fire marshal was called in to investigate, as was the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, the chief said.

dscanlan@jacksonville.com: (904) 359-4549

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