Flames rip through furniture store on Beach Boulevard

Fire marshal investigating cause of blaze

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The owners of a Jacksonville patio store on Beach Boulevard are waiting to learn the extent of damage after a large fire tore through the business Monday evening.

The Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department said 40 to 45 firefighters responded about 10:30 p.m. to the Palm Casual Patio Furniture on Beach Boulevard near St. Johns Bluff Road.

Large flames and heavy smoke could be seen billowing from the building. According to JFRD, the blaze started outside the building in the back.

“I just got a call from my daughter who lives close by that our store had caught on fire and so I rushed up here from home to see it," said Michael Halusek, Palm Casual Patio Furniture's part-owner.

Crews were still working on hot spots an hour after they responded, but the majority of the fire was contained. Firefighters said the concern is that the furniture inside is highly flammable.

No injuries were reported.  

"We’ve been here 40 years and never had anything like this, of course, happen," Halusek said. “I just appreciate the support of what looks like a done deal for our building.”

Halusek surveyed the damage in the light of day and said he was "pretty devastated."

"I don’t want to get emotional on camera. but it’s heartbreaking," he said. "Even though I know we’re going to build it back up. It’s going to take a little bit."

The fire marshal is investigating the cause of the fire.

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