The new year and the month of January will feature another milestone in the history of the Jacksonville Fire/Rescue Department as we welcome new Fire Station # 62 into the arsenal of exceptional public safety resources available here in Duval County. The official ribbon cutting ceremony is scheduled for Thursday, January 30 at 10:30 AM at the new station's location at 14599 Bartram Park Boulevard.
The unusually cold temperatures visiting the First Coast throughout this month have resulted in a higher volume of residential structure fires: thankfully the magnitude of these hasn't been as devastating and riddled with dysphoria as could have been easily possible. The aforementioned observation notwithstanding, the Department did experience a bonafide and noteworthy Second Alarm that occurred early in the morning on one of the few days devoid of frigid conditions. Just before 3 AM on Monday, 27 January, units responded to 9465 Atlantic Boulevard where the Olive Garden restaurant had heavy smoke visible; in fact so visible that the crew from Station 30 reported this visual almost immediately upon leaving the fire station. The assembled firefighters quickly forced entry into the building and at once were confronted by thick, billowing clouds of smoke that rendered visibility down to next to nothing. Valiantly trying to locate the fire, the responders were soon out of precious time as flames began piercing the roof, necessitating a withdrawal from the objective of the interior attack. With fire now also breaching the walls, Command issued a Second Alarm and established ladder pipes to begin the exterior defensive attack. Water and general fatigue of the roof soon caused a collapse, sending down into the restaurant several industrial strength A/C units among the debris. After nearly 3 hours of suppression activity Command issued a Signal 77 and the incident was called under control, but not before the building had become a total loss with damages in the range of several hundreds-of-thousands-of-dollars. With the State Fire Marshal's office called upon to perform the investigation, the immediate aftermath of the incident did deliver to the JFRD the good news of no injuries reported on scene.