77ºF

2-alarm fire in library parking garage contained

photo

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Firefighters quickly contained a fire in the elevator shaft on the fourth floor of the parking garage of the Main Library in downtown Jacksonville on Thursday morning.

The fire broke out about 10:45 a.m. in the garage on West Duval Street between Main and North Laura streets -- across the street from the library. Minutes later a second alarm was issued.

Jacksonville Fire Rescue said the fire started on the fourth floor elevator shaft.
Jacksonville Fire Rescue said the fire started on the fourth floor elevator shaft.

The parking garage was evacuated, as was the adjoining Godbold Building.

The flames, which at one point could be seen from several blocks away, was contained to the parking garage. There were no injuries.

IMAGES: Black smoke seen across downtown

Jacksonville Fire-Rescue Chief Marty Senterfitt said a second alarm was issued to get additional resources to the fire.

"It's a multi-story building, which means there's a lot more people needed," Senterfitt said. "Simultaneously, we had to clear and sweep all of the floors underneath to make sure there were not occupants inside and the fire didn't spread to adjoining buildings. As you do all those different tasks, it takes more and more personnel."

JFRD Fire Chief Marty Senterfitt said between 40 and 45 people were involved in battling the fire. Most were expected to remain on scene for several hours to battle hot spots and assist the state fire marshal in determining a cause.
JFRD Fire Chief Marty Senterfitt said between 40 and 45 people were involved in battling the fire. Most were expected to remain on scene for several hours to battle hot spots and assist the state fire marshal in determining a cause.

Senterfitt said between 40 and 45 people were involved in battling the fire. Most were expected to remain on scene for several hours to battle hot spots and assist the State Fire Marshal in determining a cause.

"We were standing there in one of the offices, and it looks out over the top of the parking garage, and you could see the thing on fire," said Pamela Andrews, who works in the Public Defender's Office. "And we stood there for 15 minutes watching it before the Fire Department came around and told us to evacuate the building."

Senteriff said there were workers in the parking garage, so initial indications are that construction activity may have sparked the fire. 

Police closed Duval Street westbound from Main Street, but at least one lane reopened by noon.