Fire burns vacant church on Westside for third time

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Around 45 firefighters responded to the Church of the Epiphany early Saturday morning to put out a large fire. It is the third reported fire at the abandoned church in the last 5 months. Officials believe Saturday's fire was set intentionally.

JFRD started getting calls around 3:20 a.m. from drivers in the area of Harlow Boulevard, according to Leutinent Mike Peery.

When crews arrived a large fire was burning inside the church sanctuary and firefighters worked until nearly 8 a.m. to fully douse the fire. All lanes of Harlow Boulevard and one lane of 103rd Street were blocked around 4 a.m.

No one was hurt in the blaze, Peery said.

There have been multiple fires at the church before, but never in the sanctuary, Peery said.

This is the third time this church has been on fire in 5 months and the second time this week. JFRD investigated Monday's fire as an arson. The first reported fire at the church was in September of last year.

The State Fire Marshall is investigating the scene.

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