JACKSONVILLE, Fl. - The fire that destroyed a Jacksonville restaurant is believed to have started accidentally, according to the State Fire Marshall.
Officials say the fire started on the roof. 60-75 firefighters responded to the scene of the Olive Garden on Atlantic Boulevard, across from Regency Mall, overnight Monday. JFRD reports it received a call from a passerby around 2:40 a.m.
Fire crews said the restaurant is a total loss.
JFRD PIO Tom Francis reported his crews are working to cleanup some sanitation issues with pipes.
JFRD Fire Chief Marty Senterfitt said his firefighters had to take an outside approach because of dangerous conditions. He said they, "spent about 25 minutes inside the building trying to put it out but unfortunately the roof started collapsing on top of the crews so we had to pull everyone out for their safety."
Two ladder trucks are shooting water through the roof to tackle flames burning from the top of the building. Both east and westbound lanes of Atlantic Boulevard were closed for about three hours, but they are now reopen.
We've learned the Olive Garden will provide job placement for affected employees.