Raw video and news report from deadly Jacksonville, Florida fire. One dead and numerous rescues from midday apartment blaze.

By Ann Butler at

One person is dead and three others have been hospitalized following a three-alarm fire at an apartment complex on University Boulevard North.

Jacksonville Fire and Rescue responded to the Chelsea Courtyards Apartments, which is in the 2200 block of University North.

The three people were treated for minor injuries, including two residents and one firefighter.

University North between Merrill and Dickson was blocked off for hours this afternoon, as rescue personnel asked drivers to avoid the area.

FL Jacksonville 1 dead in apartment fireOfficials say the fire broke out just before 1 p.m. from an upstairs apartment in the front building of the complex.

Neighbors who saw smoke rushed to the door, but couldn’t get through the flames.

“She had flames shooting out her apartment,” said Roderick Brooks, who lives across the hall from the unit that caught fire.

As more than 60 fire fighters from JFRD arrived on scene, neighbors hung from windows, waving to be rescued.

“What can only be described as a dramatic scenario. Flames through the roof. Our crews set about providing the assistance necessary to help these individuals escape the flames,” said Tom Francis, with JFRD.

When the fire was under control and crews went back to check for hotspots, they discovered a woman’s body in the apartment where the fire started.

Investigators have not released the victim’s identity, pending an autopsy, but she is known to neighbors as a quiet, hardworking person.

“We always got along,” said Brooks.

Damage to the building and belongings totals close to $2 million.

The State Fire Marshal says the fire appears to have been accidental, and may have been an electrical fire.

The American Red Cross says 19 families have been displaced by the fire.

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