JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -

Jacksonville Fire and Rescue battled a two-alarm fire Friday night that gutted a popular nightclub.

Witnesses say flames could be seen going through the roof of the 57 Heaven on Atlantic Boulevard before 9 p.m.  Firefighters had to be careful because of fear that the roof could collapse.

“We took our time and we were very careful to make sure no one got hurt,” Fire Chief Martin Senterfitt said. “There were flames 20 or 30 feet up at some point in time and we wanted to make sure everyone was safe.”

Fire The business was open when people inside smelled smoke.

"We had to get everybody out -- they got out nice and calm," said Scott Basler at the nightclub. 

Basler said 57 Heaven has been open for 27 years at that location and they plan to rebuild.

Atlantic Boulevard between Acme and Bowlan was closed to traffic for a couple of hours due to the fire, but the fire was out and roads in the area reopened by 11 p.m.