Fire Demolishes Half a House on Forsythe; Oxygen Mask for 10-Year-Old Cat
FlaglerLive | December 27, 2010
Windy conditions helped feed a fire that may have started in the garage of the single-family house at 104 Forsythe Ln. in Palm Coast at noon Monday. The fire was fully involved when Flagler County and Palm Coast Fire Department firemen got to the scene. Two hours later, half the house was charred. The roofs above the garage and the back of the 2,100 square-foot house had partially caved in. Ammunition stored in the garage — the owner of the house is into skeet shooting — popped from time to time. Firemen kept the fire from spreading either to the other half of the house or to adjacent houses on either side of the property, which the property appraiser office lists as being owned by Stephen and Marcia Dupuy.
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Neither was home when the fire started. It was called in by a neighbor. But the owners’ three pets were inside the house. Two were recovered: a 10-year-old cat called Baby, given oxygen by Palm Coast firemen to help recovery, and Kay, a 13-year-old dog, who was OK, according to the owners’ daughter, Michelle. But Taz, a male, 6-month-old puppy was not found in the house and was likely to have run out. Michelle described the puppy as “a black fur ball” or “a black mop with lots of hair.”
“He’s got to be out here somewhere,” Michelle said.
“We had people inside the structure keeping it from spreading,” Palm Coast Fire Chief Mike Beadle said, “so the guys did an outstanding ob holding it.” The wind made fighting the fire more difficult. “They saved what they could, but it comes to a point where we have to bring our people out because it’s unsafe conditions. It was going pretty good by the time we got here.”
“Basically,” Deputy Fire Chief Gerry Forte said, “the normal operation for a fire like this is to be able to control the air and the movement of the wind through the firefighters. When the wind was blowing as strong as it was, it was creating a hindrance for us trying to find a clear spot to get onto the building and cut the fire off.” Still, the structure was controlled to the point of saving the possessions on the west side of the building. Around 1:20 p.m., Forte lent his boots to the owner, who went into that portion of the house to begin salvaging valuable possessions.
Meanwhile, Capt. Mark Valentik and firemen Patrick Juliano and Greg Dick took out the oxygen equipment for pets to take care of the cat. The equipment, which the department acquired a year or so ago, was not bought with taxpayer money: Valentik led a drive to raise the money, through other firefighters, and got approval from Beadle to buy the equipment, which is now on every city firetruck.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.
On the call, for the Palm Coast Fire Department, were Engines 24, 23 and 22 and a volunteer fire truck. The county sent Ladder 41, Rescue 22, an an air unit–that is, a vehicle to replenish the firemen’s breathing apparatus.