n investigation is ongoing into a structure fire in Jacksonville that authorities have deemed suspicious in nature.
The Jacksonville Fire Department responded to a call of a possible structure fire at 741 North Main Street at approximately 6:45 Sunday night. Jacksonville Fire Chief Doug Sills says the fire had fully consumed the interior of a portion of the structure when crews arrived.
“Upon arrival, there was heavy fire involvement in the garage on the north side of the structure. Crews were informed once they got on scene that there were possibly two residents still inside.
A quick attack was made on the garage and a team attempted to make entry into the residence. For all intents and purposes, this is classified as a hoarder-type residence which made the firefighting efforts more difficult down there last night. Primary and secondary searches were completed and all the residents were accounted for.”
Sills says the preliminary investigation points to the fire originating in the southwest corner of the garage which then spread into the basement and first floor bedroom areas of the house.
He says a cause of the blaze has not yet been determined and outside investigators are being called in.
“We have been in contact with the State Fire Marshal, we haven’t opened a full investigation just yet. At this point in time, we are going to have to deem this one suspicious in nature. The main fact is there were no utilities to the house, no electricity, no gas service or water service, so we’re still looking at this one.”
Damage to the home is estimated at $35,000 with a $10,000 loss of contents. The house has been deemed a total loss. A vehicle that was sitting in front of the garage was also destroyed by the fire.
Sill says two firefighters suffered minor injuries during suppression efforts. The last unit cleared the scene just after 10:00 pm. An investigation into the incident remains ongoing.