JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A man died and a woman was hospitalized in critical condition after a mobile home fire in the Oceanway neighborhood Friday morning, according to the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office.
JSO and Jacksonville firefighters responded to the mobile home on Shims Road just off New Berlin Road around 3:30 a.m. Firefighters were able to pull an older woman out of the mobile home, and she told them a disabled older man was still inside.
The woman was taken to the hospital in critical condition.
JFRD re-entered the mobile home but officials said firefighters had trouble getting to the man.
“There were holes in the floor,” JFRD spokesman Eric Prosswimmer said. “We had to watch out for our firefighters’ safety. Getting to the bedroom where the person was wasn’t an easy task.”
Prosswimmer also said firefighter crews knew the layout of the mobile home after being called there before for medical issues. They were able to get the fire under control in about 30 minutes, but it was too late for the man in the home.
“Crews worked hard, and we knew there was somebody in there, and it was a sad outcome. Our condolences go to the family. It’s not the result we want. We want to give somebody a chance, the other person, we’ve given them a chance. They’re at the hospital. That’s difficult for us. It’s difficult for our crews. They have to take that home later,” Prosswimmer said.
JSO and the State Fire Marshal have taken over the investigation into the cause of the fire.
JSO Sgt. Chris Stephens said investigators do not suspect foul play and that the fire was most likely accidental, but it is still under investigation. They are interviewing neighbors and ask anyone with information to call JSO at 904-630-0500.
Hours after the fire, flowers had been placed on what used to be the front steps. Neighbors told News4JAX the couple was kind and had been living in the home for decades. They said the man who died had been a trucker but had suffered from health issues for years.
They said they’ve never seen smoke and damage like what was left after Friday’s fire.
News4JAX records show this man was at least the eighth person to die in a house fire this year.