JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A newly released video from Jacksonville Fire and Rescue shows what a massive Springfield fire looked like just as firefighters arrived on the scene on Tuesday.
For some reason, a home erupted in flames, and then those flames traveled to two homes next door causing those homes to be damaged.
News4JAX found the owner of one of the homes and called him to get his reaction to what happened. But he had no idea what happened. He said no one called him to tell him what happened.
So, News4JAX sent him pictures of the destruction so he could see it with his own eyes.
According to the Duval County Property Appraiser’s Office, the structure on Ionia Street that burned down Tuesday night is actually a triplex that was built in the early 1900s. It was last valued at $34,000. But now it’s destroyed. Owner Noorulain Nida said he did not know it caught on fire until News4JAX told him Wednesday afternoon and sent him photos of the damage.
“I’m shocked man. I’m shocked,” Nida said. “There is no insurance because the property was not ready to be insured.”
Neighbors told News4JAX the property caught on fire two decades ago and it was left as is. Nida said he purchased the building two years ago and recently spent more than $60,000 to have a new roof installed.
“It was an investment property. We bought it thinking we would fix it up and make it a home or an apartment split,” he said.
What caused Nida’s home to catch on fire remains under investigation, but for two days now, multiple neighbors have been telling News4JAX that they often saw people going in and out of the building. In fact, neighbors like Alicia Frank said the sight of people going in and out of vacant properties or properties under construction or renovation in Springfield is a common sight.
“If you own it, you better keep a fence around it,” Frank said.
It’s still unclear if the fire was started by someone who was not supposed to be inside the building.
On some Springfield streets, there is a mixture of new homes, renovated homes, homes still under renovation, homes that are clearly vacant and homes that look so delipidated, that it’s unclear if they are vacant.
The home to the right of Nida’s building was damaged when flames spread next door. The home was both vacant and under renovation. Construction crews were there on Wednesday to repair some of the damages. The home to the left of Nida’s building was also vacant and it also suffered fire and heat damage because of the spreading flames.