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Fire breaks out at abandoned lumber treatment facility

Facility located near intersection 17th, Fairfax streets

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Much of Jacksonville saw black smoke billowing into the sky Saturday afternoon after a fire broke out at an abandoned lumber treating facility in the city's Mid-Westside neighborhood, officials said. 

The facility, which has been abandoned for years, is near the intersection of 17th and Fairfax streets. 

The facility was engulfed in flames when a News4Jax crew arrived at 2:30 p.m.

"Upon arrival, (there was a) large body of fire from one end of the building to the other," firefighter Robin Gainey said.

Fire officials said there were around 35 firefighters had the fire under control within 25-30 minutes of their arrival.

Years ago, the building was used a wood treatment facility that pressure-treated lumber for labor use. 

Local advocate Iris Hinton has been working to have the facility removed. She said the building is hazardous to the neighborhood. 

"I just volunteer my time for three years to come help this community to get this removed -- to get it cleaned up out here," Hinton said. "This is an environmental issue that is really really bad in this neighborhood."

The state fire marshal is investigating the cause of the fire.