Red Cross called to help child, 3 adults after Westside house fire

JFRD says it’s believed fire may have started in closet that contained AC unit, but state fire marshal will investigate

The American Red Cross was called to help a child and three adults who were displaced by a house fire Monday in the Hyde Park area on the Westside, according to the Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The American Red Cross was called to help a child and three adults who were displaced by a house fire Monday in the Hyde Park area on the Westside, according to the Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department.

Crews said they responded about 12:20 p.m. to the fire on Burpee Drive and could see flames when they arrived.

According to JFRD, one adult was at home at the time of the fire, but no injuries were reported.

JFRD said shortly before 12:30 p.m. that the fire was under control.

JFRD said the left side of the rental home was mostly fine, but a bedroom and other rooms were heavily damaged.

According to JFRD, the home is not habitable at this time, and the Red Cross will be helping the three adults and one child who lived in the home.

Richard Dowdell, who lived in the home with his three family members, told News4JAX that he was at work at the time of the fire, and as soon as he got the call, he rushed to pick up his wife and race home.

“Unfortunate for us. It had done, you know, severe damage inside, and now to the point where, you know, our fate says, right now, left up to whatever we could, you know, receive from Red Cross because of everything inside from just looking outside is a total loss. So definitely got to rebuild and start brand new,” Dowdell said. “Where am I gonna put my family? How long am I have to keep them there that those sorts of things are, you know, running through my mind once I knew my family was safe.”

Firefighters told News4JAX that the home is insured and will be repaired, saying, likely, the family will be able to return before too long.

“Now, it’s just, you know, beginning stages of picking up the pieces and, you know, moving on from there,” Dowdell said.

JFRD crews on scene told News4JAX that it’s believed the fire may have started in the closet that contained the air conditioning unit, although it’s the state fire marshal’s office that’s tasked with investigating.

Still, first responders told News4JAX that December and January usually see a noticeable uptick in house fires, possible due to residents starting up their long-dormant home heating systems.

In the past three days, JFRD has responded to three other major house fires in Duval County.

On Sunday, JFRD responded to two fires — one on Cherry Street in Neptune Beach and another on Prospect Street. JFRD said the Red Cross was requested for three adults and four children following the Prospect Street fire.

RELATED: State fire marshal investigating house fire in Neptune Beach

On Saturday, JFRD was called to a house fire on Old Kings Road.

One of the JFRD workers who News4JAX spoke with at the scene of Monday’s house fire said he has worked a house fire each of his last five shifts.


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