Firefighter-Paramedic Matthew Sara, B-Shift Public Information Officer, reported to Historic City News that the State Fire Marshal is conducting an investigation into the cause of a heavily involved house fire in the 200 block of Bell Branch Lane in Fruit Cove that occurred around 3:00 p.m.
While responding to the fire, units received multiple reports that the garage was on fire and that there was smoke and fire coming from the upstairs windows.
“Upon arrival, crews found a two story, single family home fully involved with fire,” Sara told reporters.
From the scene, firefighters determined that the family of four and their two family dogs were not inside the home. Emergency crews dispatched to the scene included three engines, one ladder truck, one rescue unit, and two battalion chiefs. Mutual aid was requested from the Jacksonville Fire Department, who sent one additional engine.
Efforts by the crew were successful in preventing any fire damage to the adjacent homes.
The fire was deemed “under control” approximately one hour after the initial alarm.
As of this report, firefighters are still mopping up hot spots on the scene; however, there have been no firefighter or civilian injuries sustained.
The severity of damage from the blaze and smoke make the structure unlivable, Sara said. The residents told representatives from American Red Cross that they had alternative housing and would not require assistance finding shelter.