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2 homes go up in flames, 1 destroyed

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Two homes went up in flames Sunday afternoon, leaving one destroyed.

No one was inside the home on Appleton Road, just off Cassat Avenue, when it caught fire, rescue crews said.

The Jacksonville Fire Rescue said the fire started about 1:30 p.m.

Neighbors said they saw flames shooting out a blown-out window.

"When I came outside, the very backside of the house had the window blown out of it, and there was basically a vortex of flames coming out," a neighbor said.

Neighbors told News4Jax that it looked like the fire started in the back of the home and worked its way to the front. They said there was a series of loud explosions and a big cloud of black smoke in the air.

The homeowner would not speak to the media, but neighbors said they have a message for the homeowner.

“If there's anything he needs, we will do our best to provide for it, and if he needs to get in contact with anyone, or if he just needs to talk, we're here. We're only a couple houses down,” neighbor James Donaldson said.
Investigators haven't released the cause of the fire.

News4Jax learned of a second home that caught fire sometime around 5 p.m.

It happened at a home on Greenridge Street in the Miramar neighborhood. Mike Huband, the homeowner, said the fire may have started in a front room. He said somehow the candle got onto the couch.

"I was in the backyard doing work. My mother-in-law and wife were in the main house. They smelled smoke and heard glass breaking. They ran outside and told me there was fire in the family room." Huband said.

Huband ran back into the house and tried to smother the fire with blankets but was unsuccessful.

The fire was mostly contained to the front room of the home, and everyone got out safely.

The state fire marshal will investigate the causes of both fires.