One person was at home when a fire caused extensive damage to a home in Jacksonville early Friday morning.
Jacksonville and South Jacksonville Fire Departments were called to the scene of a 3-unit residential structure fire at 205 East Beecher Avenue at 1:45AM Friday.
Jacksonville Fire Chief Doug Sills says that the structure was already heavily involved when crews arrived on the scene: “The exterior of the house on the east side was heavily involved in fire. At that point in time, the fire was extending in through the first floor windows, second floor windows, and the soffit up into the attic. It took fire crews approximately 30-40 minutes to get the fire under control. After that, it was pretty labor intensive operation with the balloon frame construction of the home to make sure that we got all of the hotspots and everything mopped up. With balloon frame construction homes, there are a lot of voids and chases that fire can extend into, so therefore, we have to open all those areas up to make sure everything is fully extinguished.”
Sills says some quick thinking by some neighbors saved one individual’s life: “There was one individual at home at the time of the fire. Thankfully the neighbors recognized the fire and were able to get him out in time. Other than that, the other two units in the apartment building weren’t occupied at this time.”
A State Fire Marshall’s Office K-9 unit was on the scene throughout midday yesterday investigating the cause of the fire. Sills says the investigation into the cause is still ongoing: “We do know that it started on the exterior on the east side. Right now, we are still investigating, looking at some security footage from several cameras in the neighborhood to see if we can determine what exactly determine what happened.”
The home sits across the street from Salem Lutheran School and a block down from Executive Transportation. Sills hopes that some of the camera footage will help explain the origin of the fire. As for now, the cause of the fire has been ruled undetermined.