JACKSONVILLE, Fla.— Jacksonville Fire and Rescue battled an intense blaze at a popular Arlington restaurant early Monday morning.
Crews were dispatched to the fire at the Olive Garden in the 9400 block of Atlantic Boulevard at 2:58 a.m. Monday morning, according to the Florida Highway Patrol website. When crews arrived heavy smoke was showing, according to Jacksonville Fire Rescue Fire Chief Martin Senterfitt.
Fire crews battled the blaze from inside the burning restaurant for about 25 minutes before the roof started to collapse, Senterfitt detailed. Crews were evacuated and continued to fight back flames from outside the restaurant.
Like most commercial buildings, Olive Garden's air conditioning units were located on the roof, which fell into the restaurant during the fire.
The massive fire cause a road closure and knocked out power to just over 200 JEA customers in the area according to their website.
The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office closed the Eastbound and Westbound lanes of Atlantic Boulevard while crews fought back flames.
"The buildings a total loss," said Senterfitt.
The restaurant has two active permits with the City of Jacksonville for Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) upgrades. Both permits were issued on Jan. 13 and work began on the $130,000 combined upgrades on Jan. 21.
Lt. Robert Stephens of the Fire Marshal's Office said they believe the fire was accidental and were expected to go back to the building on Tuesday morning to confirm that.
Stephens said the source could be air conditioning units or electrical, which is based off of the fact that firefighters saw flames above their heads.
An insurance company is providing a crane so the Fire Marshal's Office can examine the heavy A/C units to see if they are the cause of the fire. At this point, they don't see anything suspicious, Stephens said.
Close-up, raw scene footage of an early morning fire that destroyed the Olive Garden restaurant in Arlington. Ken Thomas, First Coast News