Historic City News was informed that St Johns County firefighters had a residential structure fire under control in approximately 45 minutes yesterday evening; however, salvage and overhaul operations at the Palencia home continued throughout the night and into this morning.
The house, located at 616 Santa Teresa Court in St Augustine, is owned by Robert E Jerome and his wife, Linda; who were said to have been visiting over the New Year’s holiday. The couple lives in McKeesport, Pennsylvania. The Palencia house, where the Jerome’s planned to retire, was unoccupied at approximately 5:30 p.m. Friday, according to the official report of last night’s fire.
“Crews arrived to find heavy smoke and fire visible from the roof structure and rear portion of the home,” Fire Rescue spokesman Jeremy Robshaw told Historic City News this morning. “Firefighters were fortunate in that they were able to establish a water supply using a hydrant directly in front of the residence.”
Although firefighting operations began quickly, after neighbors confirmed that the homeowners were currently out of town and that the structure was unoccupied, damage to the residence is extensive. An estimate of property damage has not yet been reported.
There were no injuries to civilian or firefighting personnel reported.
St Johns County Fire Rescue and the Office of the State Fire Marshal are currently investigating the cause of the fire.