JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Firefighters spent all day and afternoon monitoring what’s left of the Olive Garden in the Regency area after massive flames were seen spewing from the roof around 2:30 a.m. Monday.
The Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department said dozens of firefighters were called and it took two ladders spraying water onto the collapsed roof to extinguish the fire.
Yvonne Jaberi has worked for Olive Garden for eight years and says the news spread to employees quickly.
“I jumped up, threw on my clothes to see how bad it was,” said Jaberi.
JFRD worked throughout the morning and afternoon to extinguish hot spots while employees like Toney Barnes spoke to store managers about the next step.
“I've been here a year, but today is my first day training to be a server. For this to happen like this I really don't know what I’m going to do now,” said Barnes.
The Darden Group said they're working to get all employees work at other restaurants. When it comes to the investigation they said, "We don't have information regarding if or when this restaurant will reopen." But employees are hopeful.
“I plan on making my career here and overnight, bam, it just happened,” said Barnes.
“I have faith in Olive Garden, and the manager and the team is great. We have a great team here and they said they would take care of us,” said Jaberi.
The Florida State fire marshal said at this point it appears the fire is accidental and started in the roof.