Arlington gas station goes up in flames

Cars drove over firefighters' hoses

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Sunoco gas station at the corner of Townsend Boulevard and Arlington Expressway is closed indefinitely after it went up in flames early Monday morning.

Dozens of Jacksonville Fire and Rescue firefighters were called to the scene. Firefighters reported that cars were driving over their hoses while they were battling the flames.

The gas station was closed at the time of the fire and there were no injuries. There is no word on what started the fire.

District Fire Chief Chip Drysdale said firefighters responded quickly, which kept the fire from spreading to the pumps.

"We've got some light smoke. The structure of the extensions over the gasoline pump is still smoldering, so we're very carefully removing that to get rid of anything else burning," Drysdale said. "We had heavy fire coming through the roof and we immediately laid out two large supply lines and got to work."

JFRD said the heat was so intense some of the firefighters' bunker equipment was ruined.

The worst damage appeared to be near the front of the store, near the cash register.

Firefighters used ladder trucks to extinguish the fire that spread to the awnings.

The owner of the gas station said he received a phone call form police early Monday morning, letting him know the security alarm had been tripped. He said minutes later he received another call about a fire.

"When my employee closed, I called him. He said everything was OK, so that's why I'm dying to know what happened, and I still have no clue. I don't know what's going on," owner Nadim Zaidam said.

Zaidam said he's glad no one was hurt, but he's starting from scratch with his business now.

“Thank God we weren’t in there, but you go back to zero now, and you don’t know what’s going on or how it happened,” Zaidam said.

The service road on the north side of the Arlington Expressway was closed at Townsend Boulevard while firefighters monitored hot spots.