Public Information Officer Lt Jeremy Robshaw reported to Historic City News that St Johns County Fire Rescue personnel responded to a multi-family structure fire in the 700 block of Middle Branch Way at approximately 10:15 a.m. this morning.
Upon arrival, crews found smoke showing from a rear door of the home.
Firefighters entered the structure and made an aggressive attack on the fire — quickly containing it to one apartment unit.
Damage in the initial unit was extensive, but firefighters successfully prevented the fire from spreading to five adjacent units.
The occupant of the home was evacuated from the structure and evaluated at the scene, then transported by St Johns County Fire Rescue to Baptist Hospital Downtown.
The victim required treatment for smoke inhalation and minor burn injuries but was classified to be in “stable condition”.
A pet dog lost its life in the fire. Its body was located during a search of the structure by firefighters.
St. Johns County Fire Investigators are currently working to determine the cause of the fire; however, initial reports indicate that an unattended candle contributed to the blaze.
“Residents should be extremely careful when using traditional, open-flame candles,” Robshaw told reporters. “Never leave a candle unattended in any room in your house.”
Upon completion of the formal investigation, Robshaw said that he would update Historic City News with the official determination of what caused the fire.