JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The roof of an entertainment venue at a Beach Boulevard strip mall collapsed Monday, possibly because of water from severe weather, firefighters said.
The Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department was called to the shopping center on Beach Boulevard, a couple blocks west of St. Johns Bluff Road, just after noon, and found the back corner of the large building had collapsed. Firefighters searched the building for about 30 minutes but found everyone had escaped without injury.
Kim McKinney, an employee of a Goodwill store nearby, said the roof collapse sounded like an explosion.
"I said, 'Oh, God, I hope there’s nobody in there.' That was my first thought: I hope nobody was there," McKinney said. "I told my manager. He came out and investigated and called 911."
That end of the strip mall housed a business called the Truth Entertainment Complex. Firefighters and police evacuated people from the entire building and about a dozen dogs from a canine day care business located in the middle of the strip mall.
All the businesses in the strip mall are closed until they can be checked to make sure they are structurally sound. A Little Caesar's Pizza location in the mall's parking lot told News4Jax it lost business for three hours because police blocked off its drive-thru window.