FERNANDINA BEACH, Fla. – A family-owned net shop was reduced to metal scraps and three boats at a nearby marina were damaged in a fire early Friday morning, according to the Fernandina Beach Fire Department.
The Fire Department, along with Nassau County Fire-Rescue, responded just before 12:30 a.m. to a 911 call about the fire at North 14th Street along Egans Creek.
Fernandina Beach Fire Chief Ty Silcox said firefighters arrived and found the building used by local business Netting Pros, which makes netting for baseball fields, engulfed in flames shooting 100 feet into the air.
“When the first units arrived, the building was completely involved -- 100%,” Silcox told News4Jax on Friday. “We had a tremendous amount of fire coming out of all aspects of the building.”
Firefighters said they began to attack the blaze, but portions of the building collapsed and crews had to bring in heavy equipment to help put out the fire. Firefighters said they also tried to keep the flames from spreading to multiple boats stored at the nearby marina, but three boats were damaged. Silcox told News4Jax that two of the boats had been sitting at the marina for years and were pretty run down.
But the owner of the other boat, who did not wish to be named, said he just got the title for it days ago. He said it was so new that he didn’t have time to get insurance on it. He also told News4Jax that it was the second boat he lost in a fire. Just across the street at Ocean Outboard Marine in July, he said, a fire damaged another one of his boats.
Crews were not able to get Friday’s fire under control until about 2:15 a.m. and firefighters fully extinguished the blaze about two hours later. Silcox said the building was completely destroyed. Tall poles, which were used to drape the nets, were some of the only pieces left standing.
“It’s a total loss. The whole building has collapsed and, unfortunately, they’re completely out of business now at this point. But it was a devastating fire for the area,” Silcox said. “We’re such a tight-knit community up here and it really hurts when you see one of your business owners go through something like this."
Silcox said no one was inside the building at the time of the blaze and no injuries were reported.
The state fire marshal’s office is investigating the cause of the fire.
The Florida Department of Environmental Protection was also called because large crates of paint in the building melted in the fire and got all over the place, including the firefighters. The fire chief said they may have to replace those uniforms. He said none of the runoff got into the creek though.