A red-letter day is coming for both the city and the Jacksonville Fire/Rescue Department on Friday, the 6th of March, with the grand opening/ribbon cutting ceremony for new Fire Station 61. Located at 7965 Old Middleburg Road South, the over 9,000 square foot facility will provide a much welcomed addition to the department's public safety mission to save lives and protect property.
Monday, the 9th of March, a day that 58 individuals will never forget: for that was the day that 58 'new' firefighters arrived at JFRD Headquarters at 515 North Julia Street to begin their very first day as members of the Department by attending their orientation session. Congratulations to all and welcome to the greatest Fire/Rescue Department in the world! Unfortunately and in less joyous news, that same day just before 10 PM in the evening the Bono's BBQ restaurant located on Skinner Lake Drive near the St. John's Town Center went up in flames, thick clouds of smoke accompanied by heavy fire visible from quite some distance away. After 50 minutes of intensive operations the fire was subdued but not before inflicting heavy damage to the structure, rendering same a total loss as determined by the on scene Incident Commander. The State Fire Marshal was called to perform the investigation for the incident that, thankfully, resulted in no injuries reported to either firefighters or civilians.