RISE Doro: Jacksonville firefighters spray hotspots over a day after massive apartment fire sparked

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department firefighters have been fighting a fire at the still-under-construction Rise Doro apartments in Downtown Jacksonville since Sunday night. Action News Jax has the latest updates below:

UPDATE 1/30/24, 11:00 a.m.- Firefighters are still working to put out a fire at the RISE Doro apartment complex downtown, sparked more than 37 hours ago. Here’s what we know now:

  • Action News Jax’s Alexus Cleavenger has listened to the 911 calls from when firefighters got the initial call from a security guard on duty. The man described to dispatchers the scene of the fire as it was unfolding.
  • According to JFRD, the fire at RISE Doro started at 9:30 p.m. on Sunday. Fire crews battled the fire all through the night, and they are continuing to spray Tuesday morning for hot spots at the structure.
  • City officials say the RISE Doro apartment complex was deemed unsafe, so they want to make sure nearby businesses remain closed. This includes Intuition Ale Works, Manifest Distilling, and the offices across A. Phillip Randolph, Jacksonville Mayor Donna Deegan said.
  • The company that owns the Doro, RISE Real Estate, was granted a $6 million tax break in late 2020. It’s a rebate on any property taxes the apartments would have generated. Deegan said the city isn’t out any money. “That was a REV grant of about $6.5 million that doesn’t get paid until the project is completed. It has not been paid out yet and obviously won’t be now until the building is completed,” Deegan said.

UPDATE 1/29/24, 6:00 p.m.- Jacksonville Mayor Donna Deegan held a press conference discussing the fire and ongoing scene

Mayor Deegan said the city will look at ways it can help those who might have been impacted.

“We will be working with whoever was already contracted to move into the building to see if we can help them establish new housing,” said Deegan.

“It’s heartbreaking to see this happen. I mean, this was something that we were all so very much looking forward to that we felt was going to be such a catalyst to the development down here and the entertainment district. So, it’s a setback and it’s extraordinarily disappointing,” said Deegan.

While the cause of the fire is still unknown, JFRD Chief Powers said the piping for a sprinkler system had been installed, however, the system did not activate after the building caught fire last night.

UPDATE, 1/29/24, 5:33 p.m.- The City of Jacksonville has released road closure information as the Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department continues to put out the three-alarm fire. The following roads, including sidewalks, are affected:

  • Duval St E (Georgia St. to Palmetto St.)
  • Adams St. (APR to Layfette St.)
  • APR (Duval St to Bay St)
  • Gatorbowl Blvd. (Layfette to Georgia St)

Jacksonville Fire Rescue Department is on the scene of a 3rd alarm fire in the downtown area. Due to ongoing operations,...

Posted by JaxReady on Monday, January 29, 2024

UPDATE, 1/29/24, 4:06 p.m.- Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department Chief Keith Powers and Jacksonville Mayor Donna Deegan will provide a briefing on the status of the fire at 6:05 p.m. Action News Jax will carry that briefing live on CBS47 and FOX30 Action News Jax. Click the link below to watch when it happens.


UPDATE, 1/29/24, 12:56 p.m.- Jacksonville Mayor Donna Deegan and Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department Chief Keith Powers gave an update just after noon and said part of the Rise Doro building, which was scheduled to open March 1, may have collapsed.

Deegan said they heard a sound from inside the building that led them to believe this.

Because of the instability of the building, Powers said firefighters are having to fight the fire from the outside.

“We would’ve had this out if we could get inside,” Powers said.

Powers said piping for a sprinkler system was in place in the building, but the sprinklers did not activate.

Deegan the developer received a grant of $6 million to $7 million from the city. That hasn’t been paid out yet, and won’t be until the building is completed.

“It’s heartbreaking to see this happen,” Deegan said.

She said the building was going to be a catalyst for downtown development and is eager to get the process of building restarted quickly.

Powers said JFRD crews have been switching off in battling the fire every six hours. He said they would continue to be there the rest of the day and into the night.

Roads around the building, which is located on East Adams Street near 121 Financial Ballpark, continue to be closed.

The State Fire Marshal is investigating what caused the fire. If you missed the news conference, you can watch it in the video above.

UPDATE, 1/29/24, 11:44 a.m.- The Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department will provide a briefing on the status of the fire at 12:05 p.m. Action News Jax will carry that briefing live on CBS47 Action News Jax at Noon. Click the link below to watch when it happens.


PHOTOS: Jacksonville firefighters battle massive fire at Downtown apartments under construction

UPDATE, 1/29/24, 10:56 a.m.- RISE Doro, the developer of the complex, released the following statement about the fire on its website:

“On Sunday evening, January 28, 2024, RISE was notified of a fire at RISE Doro apartment complex. An employee promptly arrived at the site and was met by JFRD and other first responders who were already responding to the situation. “At this time, our sole focus is on aiding the fire department in any way possible,” Courtney Gordon, RISE Chief Operating Officer. RISE is thankful for their quick and ongoing response to the situation and our thoughts and prayers are with the firefighters, first responders, and their families who are committed to the safety of the community. Updates will be shared as more information becomes available.”

UPDATE, 1/29/24 9 a.m.- Jacksonville Mayor Donna Deegan and JFRD Chief Keith Powers held a news conference at 9 a.m.

Chief Powers said that the fire started on the 6th floor and said crews are trying to avoid more blowouts or spread. He mentioned that keeping the fire contained is integral to the structure’s integrity, as the west wall of the building is already leaning slightly.

However, despite saying the fire was one of the worst he’s faced in the past decade, the chief reiterated how proud he was of the 110 firefighters who responded so quickly to the area and have been battling the fire all night and morning.

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Mayor Deegan said she is heartbroken by the fire, as the apartments were set to open in March, but she said she was glad no one was hurt.

Deegan also said the building looks like a complete loss, but the city, the fire marshal and JFRD are actively looking into the cause.

Both Powers and Deegan said it’s too early to know when and if leaders will get their deposits back or if the city will reevaluate the complex’s $6.23 million tax incentive package, which was approved in October 2020.

UPDATE, 1/29/24, 7:55 a.m.- The Mayor’s Office told Action News Jax that it will be holding a news conference with JFRD at 9 a.m.

UPDATE, 1/29/24, 5:30 a.m.- JFRD said that the apartment fire is still burning after nearly 9 hours.

Action News Jax is at the scene again this morning and spoke with JFRD spokesman Capt. Eric Prosswimmer. He said that firefighters thought the fire was under control at around 11 p.m. last night, but the fire spread within the past several hours.

Prosswimmer said that since the apartment complex was under construction, there were aspects that made the fire tricky to reach, including but not limited to unfinished staircases and debris.

Right now, the fire is contained on the 7th floor of the 8th-floor building. Firefighters hope to prevent the fire from reaching any lower because that could hamper the structural integrity of the building.

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Nearly 75 to 85 firefighters have been at the scene since 9:30 p.m. last night battling the massive fire with 7 ladder trucks. Each truck has been pouring thousands of gallons of water on the flames for hours.

Action News Jax’s Alexus Cleavenger asked Prosswimmer about the possibility of the fire affecting other buildings. He said that the heat from the fire has gone down, so he doesn’t think that will happen. He also said there haven’t been any evacuations issued for the area.

Action News Jax will continue to follow the story and update you as we learn more.

Original story from 1/28/2024:

The Jacksonville Fire Rescue Department is responding to a structure fire in an under-construction commercial building located near A. Philip Randolph Blvd. and Adams St. which has resulted in a significant presence of emergency responders at the scene.

JFRD has told Action News Jax there have been no reported transports or displacements at the location.

JFRD reported that 75-85 crews and six ladders were used at the scene.

A security worker reported at around 9:30 p.m. a fire at the location, with black smoke spotted coming from the upper floors.

The fire was reportedly under control one hour into the incident.

Multiple floors were reportedly involved in the fire. Action News Jax is working to learn more information about the cause of the fire.

As the situation unfolds, this story will be updated to provide further details.

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