Fernandina Beach Fire Department
June 5, 2019 – 11:00 a.m.
At 10:20 PM on June 4th, 2019, units from the Fernandina Beach Fire Department were dispatched to reports of a brush fire at the dead end of Lisa Avenue. The 911 call was received from the area of N Fletcher and Lisa Avenue, reporting flames above the trees, 40 feet in the air. Upon arrival, firefighters found a roughly 4,000 square foot abandoned structure, 50% involved. The structure is believed to be the former Nassau Juvenile Residential Facility, which closed sometime near 2012, and has not been used since.
Firefighters were unable to enter the structure due to heavy fire conditions, and began a defensive attack to attempt to bring the fire under control. Due to the location of the structure, municipal water sources were limited, causing firefighters to adjust their attack. This included laying over 1,600 feet of hose and using a multitude of apparatus to pump water to the scene. Additional resources from Nassau County Fire-Rescue were requested to assist in this undertaking.
Thirty-five firefighters battled the flames until 1:58 AM, when the fire was determined to be out. Fire damage to the structure was heavy, and it was estimated to be a total loss. There were no occupants in the structure at the time of the fire; no resulting civilian or firefighter injuries have been reported. The origin of the fire is unknown in nature and is currently under investigation by the Florida State Fire Marshal’s Office, alongside members of the Fernandina Beach Police Department. Due to the stormy weather just prior to this report of fire, lightning is being considered as a potential cause.