JFRD chief explains why it’s difficult to put the fires out at RISE Doro apartments

Since late Sunday night, Jacksonville Fire and Rescue has been trying to extinguish a fire at the new RISE Doro Apartments on East Adams Street. JFRD Chief Keith Powers said the fire has been difficult to put out because of void spaces in the building during construction.

RELATED: Timeline: Luxury apartment complex in Downtown Jacksonville goes up in flames weeks before opening | A brief history of RISE Doro apartments, the $67M downtown complex that caught fire before opening

Powers also said the fire started on the sixth floor and burned through the seventh floor. JFRD said the fire was under control around 11 p.m., but smoke could be seen coming from the building around midnight Monday.

“Because of the construction and there are void spaces that are in that construction that are still open, the fire continued to move throughout the building,” Powers said. “We’re trying to keep it from going down a floor and then running back through the building again.”

It’s also important to note there was low humidity and 30 mph wind gusts overnight, making it easier for the fire to spread.

“You think you have it put out and then it flares up 50 feet down the hall,” Powers said, adding that it’s a fairly common issue when they’re fighting fires in buildings still under construction.

“A lot of the void spaces, the chases where the pipes go through. Once it’s completed, those were all sealed up. But during the construction phase, they’re open and that allows fire to get into those hidden voids and move throughout the building. That makes it more difficult for us to extinguish. Once the build is completed, those are sealed up and you wouldn’t have that issue.

Powers also said the fires moving through the void spaces make it difficult for firefighters to get to the fire because of safety concerns.

“We don’t have any personnel deployed in that building because of the safety issues that are going on inside there,” Powers said. “We also have some integrity issues with the walls. You can see some of the walls are a little bit bowed.”

He added that the roof of the building is burned off so the building loses structural integrity.

“The walls can fall in or fall out,” Powers said. “You can see the west wall lean so we had to back our apparatus away and stage at the corners of the building, which are the safest areas for us to work in,” Powers said.

Powers said there is piping for a sprinkler system but it didn’t activate and the state fire marshal is investigating.

Comments are closed, but trackbacks and pingbacks are open.