Fire at Bunnell’s Palm Terrace Claims A Home and Burns One Victim
FlaglerLive | July 27, 2011
Last Updated: 7:15 p.m.
A house caught fire and was mostly demolished just after 5 this afternoon at Palm Terrace, the mobile home community just off State Road 100 on the east side of Bunnell. The mobile home owner, a man in his mid-20s, was taken to the hospital with burns on his back and arms. He had apparently fallen asleep. His 5-year-old son was not home at the time.
No other structure was damaged in the mobile home community. One lot immediately adjacent to the house in flames is empty. The other, with an owner-occupied home, was not damaged. The fire was at 85 Third Court.
We had flames going out the front door by the kitchen out the porch, heavy flames showing,” Bunnell Fire Chief Derek Frasier said. “One person with injuries.” He said there could be some areas of the back of the house that might be salvageable.
The single-wide mobile home was 12 by 60 feet.
Chris Brown had just gotten home at 5:05 this afternoon, at Palm Terrace, the mobile home community just off State Road 100 on the east side of Bunnell, when he saw the flames at Third Court.“I ran down here when I first saw the flames,” Brown said, “he said he was on fire. I saw him at the door. I pulled him out of the door. He was walking around, I said, Dude, get the F out of here, man.” He was worried about his lawnmower and his SUV, a pathfinder parked in the driveway, close to the house.
Other neighbors were worried about the 5-year-old boy who lives with his father at that address.
“I heard noise, because of where my house is to that,” Jo-Anne Mione, a neighbor who lives right across from the house on Third Court, said. “So I looked out my window to see what the noise was and I saw that smoke billowing out. I was, like, Oh my god. Then I got scared, because I remembered he has a kid, you know.” Mione was immediately told that the boy was not at the house.
It happened “very quickly, very, very quickly,” Brown said. “In fact, I was worried about the gas cans on the lawnmower, but when I walked up there and got him out I just figured I just get him out, I ain’t worried about the lawnmower, I’ll let it all go. He didn’t have his glasses so he was looking for his glasses, which makes sense, but I didn’t want him getting any more hurt, I mean his shoulders were already blistered up,” so was his back. “Which leads me to believe there’s something a little off with him because he wasn’t really feeling anything, so I don’t know if he was in shock, trauma or what.”
Frank Barbagallo, an officer with the Bunnell Police Department, was at the scene. He said he’d responded to calls to that address in the past regarding civil matters. “I’m familiar with the house,” Barbagallo said, “so the first thing I said is where’s your son, he said he’s with my mother. I said all right.”
Barbagallo added, “When I pulled up, I was the first car on the scene, he was kind of dazed when he came out of there. I think he was asleep. Maybe he was smoking. Who knows. I don’t know. Obviously something was happening when he was asleep. He said he was asleep, ‘I woke up on fire,’ that’s what he told me. That’s what he says to me.”
Barbagallo confirmed that the victim had burns on both his arms and his back.
The Bunnell Fire Department was in control of the scene. Flagler County Fire Rescue and the Palm Coast Fire Department assisted.
Palm Terrace Community is a subdivision that Bunnell annexed in 1984. It now has about 10 percent of the city’s population. It was last in the news in April when the community sued the city over the city’s decision to stop reading water meters individually, and install a master meter for the entire community instead, shifting the burden of billing residents to the community’s management. The water war is still ongoing.
Among Flagler County Fire Rescue’s resources at the scene: a large tender truck with 5,000 gallons of water. Just in case.