Fire damages JSO supply building

Published On: Mar 10 2014 06:05:30 AM EDT   Updated On: Mar 10 2014 06:55:30 AM EDT

Jacksonville Fire and Rescue crews are investigating the cause of an early morning fire that damaged a Jacksonville Sheriff's Office building Monday.

According to JFRD, firefighters were called to the City of Jacksonville-owned building, at 535 North Washington Street, downtown around 3:30 a.m.

"It was pretty intense because of the size of the building. It's at least 5,000 square feet. Not being able to find the fire, we didn't know if we had something a lot worse than what it was. It had potential to be very bad," said JFRD Battalion Chief Neal White.

Firefighters were able to get the fire out quickly, but the building sustained major smoke damage on the second floor, according to JFRD.

"The fire's under investigation. It was a fairly small fire on the second floor of an office building JSO is using. More damage probably due from the smoke than anything else. It's heavy black smoke. Took a little while to find the fire. Crews got in and were able to put the fire out and perform salvage to protect the sensitive equipment in the building," said Chief White.

No injuries were reported and officials do not yet know the cause of the fire.

"We'll determine more as the day goes on. We're not exactly sure of the cause. It's going to have some work done. We had to break some windows to ventilate and try to locate the fire," said Chief White.

JFRD Chief said the building was being used by JSO to house supplies like computers, files and other equipment.

"I would estimate the damage to be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars because of the equipment and damage to the building," said Chief White.

Chief White said the fire could have been a lot worse.

"The fire's small enough it didn't damage anything structurally. It if hadn't been for the alarm company, it probably would have been a lot different. That's what alerted us," said Chief White.


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