JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – One person is dead after a morning fire in Jacksonville Beach on New Year’s Day.
“Just devastated. It’s just really tragic. It is shocking, and a very, very sad day,” said Jacksonville Beach Mayor Chris Hoffman.
Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department said the fire started a little before 6 a.m.
Another person managed to escape the blaze. Firefighters also rescued a dog.
Hoffman came to the scene Sunday morning to comfort those involved.
“They are a long-time beaches family. A staple in our community. Community characters, and just part of the fabric of what makes our city great,” Hoffman said.
The building was for split use. The first floor used to be the Picasso Day Spa and Salon and just within the last six months a marketing agency rented the space.
The second floor is an apartment.
There were heavy flames coming through the roof of the building after it caught fire. There were still several firefighters on the roof Sunday morning making sure all of the hotspots were out and checking out the significant damage.
Wayne Foret lives a few blocks away and couldn’t believe what he saw.
“It is sad to hear that anybody lost their life, especially on January 1,” Foret said. “It is just sad to see that I’m such an important day.”
The American Red Cross is helping the one surviving victim, but Hoffman said it is difficult to process.
“It is New Year’s Day and it’s just a really hard way to start the year. My thoughts and prayers go out to the family and everyone who is involved,” she said.
Investigators are still working to find out how the deadly fire started.