Fire destroys video store on Westside

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. –  Investigators are unclear about what started a fire at a video store before 6 a.m. Sunday.

Fire destroyed the Video Empire Store, located near 103rd Street and Blanding Boulevard. The store was abandoned and so nobody was hurt. However, business owners nearby were concerned about the flames spreading.

Linda Lamonica, an employee at Hall’s Nurseries said she was worried, but not really shocked by the fire.

“I think something was bound to happen. That building was very old and didn’t look good,” said Lamonica. “It made me worried about the business between us, the Christmas trees out there on our tree lot, and of course the people in this area too.”

Some residents were unaware of the fire, but expressed concern after learning about the early morning flames in the neighborhood.

Frank Moran, a resident in the area said, ‘I slept right through it because I was up watching the game. If the prevailing winds had been from the west instead of from the north, it probably would have torched this whole place.”

No one called firefighters on Sunday, but they responded as they were on their way back to the fire station from another call.

Firefighter were however called to the video rental store in February 2014. The store had been closed for several months at the time. The cause of that fire was also unclear.

The state fire marshal is investigating. News4Jax will bring you updates on air and online as they become available.