Jacksonville (FL) Firefighters Escape Burning Home Before Roof Collapse

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Seconds before the roof of a burning home came crashing down, about a dozen firefighters retreated from the disintegrating structure, the Jacksonville fire chief said from the scene Tuesday morning, reports The Florida Times-Union.

“This type of fire — across the nation — typically can be a firefighter killer,” Chief Martin Senterfitt said. “… Roof collapse is one of the things we fear the most.”

The Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department arrived to the home in the 1900 block of Phoenix Avenue about 10:30 a.m. Senterfitt said the owner collected items extensively, and his home was so jam packed that firefighters had a hard time maneuvering inside making it more dangerous.

However, nobody was injured due to the actions of incident commander Adrian Johnson and the other district chiefs on scene, Senterfitt said.

“They recognized the tell-tale signs and pulled our crews out,” he said.

They had also already gotten the owner out.

Senterfitt said Johnson has 28 years’ experience as a Jacksonville firefighter and about 15 years as a chief.

The last firefighter left the building about 90 seconds before parts of the roof collapsed, the chief said.

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