44 fires, 30 days: JFRD sees increase in blazes during January

The state fire marshal is determining the cause of a house fire in the Brentwood neighborhood early Sunday morning. News4JAX reporter Aaron Farrar shows how hectic this month alone has been for JFRD.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A fire quickly ripped through a two-story house Sunday on Long Branch Boulevard. It happened during the coldest night in more than seven years in Jacksonville.

January has been an overwhelming time for firefighters.

“It has been a busy month for us,” said JFRD spokesperson Eric Prosswimmer. “We have had a lot of injuries. We have had too many fatalities.”

Prosswimmer said crews typically respond to about 30 fires a month, which is roughly one a day.

But this month alone, there have already been 44.

RELATED: Curry announces new JFRD position dedicated to addressing fire safety, prevention

The crews are pushing through the taxing demand.

“They are always ready,” Prosswimmer said. “They go in, work fast and work hard.”

No one was hurt in Sunday’s fire that started around 3:45 a.m.

The flames and smoke forced one woman out of her house, as the Red Cross is helping her.

Firefighters remained on the scene for more than six hours.

About 50 of them responded to the house which is now considered a total loss.

Once JFRD confirmed no one was inside at the time, they felt the best and safest way to fight this was from the outside to prevent injuries.

“It was definitely not safe for our crews inside,” Prosswimmer said. “We have burned-through spot on the second floor. We have stairwells that are not safe. So, they pulled everybody out.”

Prosswimmer said battling the fire was bit tricky because of how the house was built.

“It is an old construction, what we call a balloon frame,” he said. “The brick is on the bottom. It is kind of concealed. Some of the fire ran up the wall and into the attic.”

Firefighters eventually managed to put out yet another fire in the city.

The state fire marshal is investigating the cause.

About the Author: