The Jacksonville Fire Department responded to two separate fires within a matter of hours this morning.
Crews responded to a structure fire in the 700 block of North East Street in Jacksonville at approximately 8:30 this morning. Captain Mike Griffitts says once crews were en route, they could see the heavy smoke coming from the area.
“We arrived on scene and found a two-car garage heavily involved in fire. The house next door was getting some heat damage as well, some of the siding was melting, and then the house closest to the garage took on a bunch of heat damage as well. Police were on scene trying to evacuate the building at that time. Upon our arrival, there were still a couple of people in there trying to gather up some of their belongings and we were able to get them out.”
Griffitts says they were able to extinguish the heat exposure to both adjoining houses quickly and had the main fire knocked down and under control in approximately ten minutes. He says an investigation is now underway as to the cause of the blaze.
“Right now the fire is considered suspicious due to no power in the building and the time of the day and no one working in the building or anything for the last three or four days. It was a total loss with some damage to the house as well. No damage to the interior of the house, just some interior furnishings.”
No injuries were reported in the incident. Griffitts says they were on scene for just over an hour and then turned the investigation over to the Jacksonville Police Department.
Griffits says his crews were back in service at the fire station no more than 15 minutes when the second call came in. This time crews were dispatched to a house fire at 1619 Elmwood Street in South Jacksonville.
Griffitts says South Jacksonville Fire Chief Richard Evans Jr. was on the scene when they arrived and a South Jacksonville Fire crew arrived shortly thereafter.
Evans says fire was visible upon arrival at the single-story home. “I arrived on scene and there was fire and smoke showing from a bedroom. We were able to get a quick knock on it. The fire was pretty well contained to the bedroom. There is extensive heat, water, and smoke damage throughout the entire residence.
At this time the cause is undetermined due to the extent of the damage in the room of origin. We are looking into a couple of electrical issues as a possible source.”
Evans says no one was home at the time of the fire and the occupants had been gone since the previous evening. No injures were reported, however, two cats did perish in the fire.
Evans says a cause of the fire is still under investigation however he does not believe it was suspicious in nature. Fire crews were on scene for approximately an hour and a half before being able to clear the scene.
An estimate of the losses was not available as of press time.