Neighbors report 'explosion' in deadly Jacksonville townhome fire

Man who died is disabled, in his 20s, witnesses say

By Ashley Spicer - Reporter, anchor

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A disabled man in his 20s was killed overnight in a fire at a townhome in the Goodby's Creek neighborhood, according to firefighters and witnesses.

Flames could be seen shooting through the roof of the home at Sutton Place late Wednesday night when firefighters arrived.

Sylvia Adkins said she heard cries coming from a woman who lived in the home that caught fire.

"She was out screaming, running up and down the stairs, saying, 'My son is in (there). Please get them out. He's disabled.' But it did no good," Adkins said.

Police said the man was killed in the house fire. They said they were originally called to Sutton Place about 11:30 p.m. Wednesday because of a dispute but shortly after, the home went up in flames.

Three other townhomes suffered severe damage.

VIDEO: Man dies after apartment fire

Howard Workman told News4Jax he was shocked to watch his neighbor's home burn to the ground. He relived the scary moments he woke up to the fire.

"I heard people screaming loudly, and I started to get out of bed, and then I heard a tremendous explosion," Workman said. "People started screaming in our window."

Workman said another neighbor is deaf, and he was worried about her -- so he and some other neighbors tried to break in to save her.

"Jan did wake up smelling the smoke, so she got to the front door just as we were breaking it in and got her out," Workman said. "She's 84 years old, and she was extremely upset. Her house is badly damaged with smoke."

The Red Cross was requested to help 4 people who lost their homes.

Hazmat teams returned Thursday morning after hazardous items were found in the fire and flames broke out a second time. A firefighter was transported to the hospital from this fire but is doing just fine now.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

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