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Smoke from Southside auto shop fire seen for miles

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Heavy flames were pouring out of one of the bays of Chris' Automotive Friday afternoon when a firefighter driving on Beach Boulevard saw the smoke.

Within minutes, dozens of Jacksonville Fire-Rescue engines and personnel were battling the blaze at the shop on Leon Road, about two blocks north of Beach Boulevard, west of St. Johns Bluff Road.

JFRD said the five employees battled the blaze with fire extinguishers until firefighters arrived. Within 20 minutes, the fire in the commercial building was under control.

A woman across the street she heard an explosion, then saw flames. 

"It's scary because anything can explode that badly," the woman told News4Jax.

There were no injuries, but the first two bays of the eight-bay shop were destroyed. JFRD was investigating the cause of the fire.

A donation account was opened online to help the owner of the shop and his employees.

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