JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The state fire marshal was called to investigate the cause of a massive fire at a home in a neighborhood of luxury homes in Hampton Park, off Baymeadows Road east of Interstate 295.
SKY4 aerials just before 5 p.m. Friday showed flames and plumes of smoke coming through the roof of the two-story home on Monterey Bay Drive.
At one point, the Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department ordered fire crews out of the house for their own safety until more help arrived.
Video showed the roof of the house was gone. Part of the second-floor was also gone, and the interior was gutted by flames so intense that crews had to rely on ladder trucks to attack the fire from above.
"There was a tremendous amount of fire in the attic, which caused us to back out and so we had to set up aerials for that and due to the size of the home and the amount of fire," said JFRD Chief Dave Westberry. "It did take a little bit longer to control.”
Firefighters and a ladder truck were focused on protecting neighboring homes from the fire.
Westberry said they were also concerned about flames spreading, which is why fire crews set up what's called an exposure protection -- a defensive strategy to keep other homes from catching fire.
Fire Rescue tweeted at 5:25 p.m. that the blaze was under control.
The homeowners, who were not at home when the fire started, said the home where they lived for the last 10 years was destroyed.
News4Jax learned from property records that the five-bedroom, five-bathroom home built in 2003 is valued at more than $450,000.
Although the homeowners did not want to go on camera, they told News4Jax off camera that Friday's fire came at a time when many of their neighbors are debating over whether a new fire station should be built at the front entrance of the subdivision. Their home is exactly 1 mile from that entrance.
Neighbors said the idea is split 50-50 among those who either support or oppose building a new fire station.
In the meantime, the homeowners will be staying at a hotel Friday night, but said they’re relieved no one was hurt and no other homes caught fire.
They also said they had already spoke with an insurance company.