News

Home destroyed, firefighter injured in Northside fire


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- A home in North Jacksonville is considered to be a complete loss after flames destroyed the residence Monday morning.

Firefighters responded to the home off of Dunn Creek Road around 11:30 to find smoke and flames pouring out of the structure, according to the Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department.

The homeowner and his canine were able to make it out of the residence safely.

A firefighter was injured during the firefight and was transported to UF Health with what are considered to be minor injuries, according to JFRD spokesperson Tom Francis.

No cause of the fire was released by officials at the scene.

The American Red Cross is helping the homeowner with accommodations.


Another community without running water


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Some may find it difficult to believe, but there are homes in northwest Jacksonville that are not connected to the city's water system. There is no potable running water in the area.

"We need it over here," said Hubert Cox. "We need it."

A decade ago, Cox, a small business owner, launched a petition to get the city to bring running water to the residents along U.S. 1 North.

"It is pretty bad," he said. "Sometimes we have to use bleach to make sure it is okay."

The now has plans to interconnect the water lines from Borden Street to Trout River Boulevard. Cox said in his barbershop the subject is a sore point.

"It is critical," said Cox. "There is no decent water to drink."

Homeowner: City penalizing me for neighbor's dead tree


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Benjamin Cole has lived on Brandywine Street for decades but said the last six months have been very difficult.

"I got physically sick yesterday and as you can see now I am still upset," he said.

Cole said he's upset because Jacksonville City Hall, in his eyes, has failed him again.

"I've been complaining for six months about them coming out to cut this tree down," he said.

Cole lives at 873. The city has a case history for 865 Brandywine. The history shows a city contract was issued on February 18 to cut down the dead tree,but the tree fell before they could do it.

Neighbor will have to sue neighbor for tree damage


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Benjamin Cole said a crashing sound woke him from his sleep early Monday morning.

"It was around four o' clock in the morning we heard something," said Cole, "it sounded like someone was running across the roof.

It wasn't. When Cole went out to check what woke him up, he found it was the crashing sound of his neighbor's tree.

"I've been reporting the problem to the city since November of last year," he said.

He was reporting the condition of the tree and the potential danger. The city's Municipal Code Compliance Division responded because the tree is on private property. If it was on public property, the city's Department of Public Works will remove it.

M.C.C.D. responded to his complaints; a code enforcement officer issued the property owner a citation. When nothing was done to minimize the risk, the city marked the tree for removal.

Northside armed carjacking leads JSO to JAX

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - An armed carjacking at Soutel Food Store Wednesday evening lead the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office to the Jacksonville International Airport.

The victim's car was taken at gunpoint at about 4 p.m. Police learned that the vehicle had a GPS tracker on it, and officers and the air unit used it to track the vehicle to the airport.

Airport police located three suspects from the car, including the alleged carjacker. According to JSO there was no danger to the public or the airport.

There are no injuries or property damage reported.

JSO is continuing to investigate the incident.

Community leaders address Christmas Day melee

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Community leaders united at the Regal River City Marketplace Stadium 14 on Friday morning to address a 600-person strong brawl Christmas Day that took place outside the theater.

Residents, young people, religious leaders, educators, organizational leaders and elected officials joined forces to address the Christmas Day "melee" at the Regal River City Marketplace Stadium 14, which was rushed by a group of juveniles and young adults allegedly trying to force their way into a movie. The group quickly moved outside, and grew in size to a massive 600.

Five people were arrested and several hundred young people were involved.

Community advocate Commissioner Cheryl A. Williams said in a press release, "what was reported to have occurred at Hollywood Theaters is not representative of our young people, our culture, nor our community."

Get a free, sober ride home tonight

JACKSONVILLE, FLA-- We want you to get the new year started off safely so put this number in your phone, 885-286-9246.

855-286-9246 is the phone number to AAA's Tow-To-Go program.  You don't have to be a AAA member to use the service, it just gets you a safe, free ride home and saves you from driving intoxicated.

"New Year's Eve is the busiest night of the year for the Tow to Go program because so many motorists seem to be more inclined to use a designated driver but don't always have someone willing to be one in their own party during the biggest celebration of the year," said Gerry Gutowski, Sr. Vice President, Automotive Services, AAA–The Auto Club Group. "We prepare our call center teams and tow truck service providers for weeks in advance, so we can manage the increased call volume that's typical of this time of year."