Off-duty firefighters save neighbor's building

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - They grabbed the fire extinguishers and ran out the door to save their neighbor's building that caught fire.

Three firefighters were working off-duty at their business XL Carts, selling new and refurbished golf carts on Tuesday.

Garrett Wilson, who's assigned to Station 34, was fixing the door to his shop.

"I was trying to get it to seal a little bit better, I was adjusting it and looked at my neighbor's building and noticed there was smoke coming out of the door," Wilson said.

He said he yelled "structure fire."

"You hear 'structure fire' at the fire station and it's time to go," said Anthony Douglas, one of the off-duty firefighters. "So we ran out here, guys came out of the back with a fire extinguisher, I grabbed an extinguisher on the way out of the office, and we took off running down the parking lot."

They ran to their landlord's business, Braddock Metallurgical.

"I'd say the flames were probably 10 or 15 feet," Wilson said.

Another employee grabbed more fire extinguishers from nearby businesses.

They fought the flames, and a couple minutes later, Engine 35, Ladder 34 and Engine 34 arrived.

"It was kind of at a critical point, like if you had let it go for probably two or three more minutes I would have imagined the whole building would've burned down or it would've gotten out of control," Wilson said.

"In a moment like that, seconds count," Douglas said. "So we were right there, we were able to do something, so we have a duty to do that. We were off-duty but we're never really off-duty. If somebody needs help, we're there to help them, and to be able to help a neighbor was really special."

Wilson said the real hero was the giant fire extinguisher he had ready in case he needed it.

"That fire extinguisher was literally 15 years old, and I almost threw it away five times but I couldn't make myself do it, and now it got to save the day," he said.

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