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Massive Fire Demolishes a House on Palm Coast’s Woodhaven Dr., But 3 Dogs Are Saved

| July 29, 2013

The fire halfway through consuming the house. Click on the image for larger view. (© FlaglerLive)

The fire halfway through consuming the house. Click on the image for larger view. (© FlaglerLive)

Last Updated: 4:01 p.m.

A massive fire engulfed a single-family house at 121 Woodhaven Drive, off of Pine Lakes Parkway, in Palm Coast at around 11:50 this morning. There were no occupants in the house at the time, but two or three dogs were rescued after the fire started.

The Palm Coast Fire Department with assistance from Flagler County Fire Rescue is currently at the scene as firefighters battle the blaze–not to save the twenty-three year old house, which is a lost cause, but to contain the fire to the property, which sits in close quarters next to houses on either side and behind it.

The cause of the blaze is not yet known. The renters were at a doctor’s appointment for one of the occupants, when the fire started.

“I’m guessing around 10 minutes to 12 I’m guessing a resident in the neighborhood said they smelled smoke, saw smoke from the house, didn’t know what the address was other than Woodhaven. They started sending us here and we found out if was 121 Woodhaven,” Palm Coast Fire Chief Mike Beadle, who was in command of the scene, said.

The first unit located the origin of the fire in the right-rear corner of the house, a screened in porch, was fully involved, with heavy smoke showing out of the front of the house.


Audio: Fire Chief Mike Beadle on the Fire

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“We were advised there might be an elderly female inside the structure, so our crews went in and started our primary search,” Beadle said, “got about half way into the structure and got the front rooms checked out before the back end of the house actually dropped in, the attic had already burned through and dropped in, so we had to pull the guys out, we went to what we would call defensive mode, just trying to protect the structures on either side. The homeowner did come home, advised there was a motorcycle in the garage and some tools, one of which was a settling tank, very combustible when it gets heated. Really bad stuff for when you’re fighting a fire. So cut the door, made sure that we had access to get in, that there wasn’t any major fire in there, which there wasn’t, and we actually got his motorcycle out.”

As it turns out, there were no human beings in the house when the fire started. “We know there were two animals in the house, we did get one out, and thankfully there wasn’t anybody inside the house,” Beadle said. “Have absolutely no way of knowing what started it. The fire marshal’s office has been notified, they’re on the way.”

It is confirmed that there were dogs in the house when the fire started, but there were conflicting reports about the number of dogs in there–at l;east two, maybe three. “Two, we’re being told two. Whether they both got out, we still don’t know at this point,” Beadle said, though neighbors spoke of three.


Audio: Lt. Jason Wagner Describes Dog’s Rescue

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Lt. Jason Wagner and Firefighter Michael Chandley were first to go in, as the fire was raging, after getting reports of a person and three dogs possibly being inside.

“We got in so far but the heat was beating us back,” Wagner said. “So we did a quick knock down of what we could, and then as we hit it with some water, is when we heard a dog barking, yelping, like it was in trouble. So immediately we stopped, made a right-hand search, got into a hallway, where we found the dog. Grabbed the dog, made a way out to the rescue company who was at the door waiting for it, gave the dog to the rescue company and then began the rest of our search.”

Flames were already leaping from various parts of the house the house at that point.

“When I found the dog it was laying on the ground, yelping,” Wagner said, “what I would imagine taking its last breaths, because it was pretty hot, smoky in there, even for us. We were breathing air out of our air tanks, so it was just paying on the floor, on its side, just gasping for air, pretty much.”

Firefighter Michael Chandley, left, who's been with the Palm Coast Fire Department 10 years, and Lt. Jason Wagner, with the department almost 18 years, saved the dog. Click on the image for larger view. Click on the image for larger view. (© FlaglerLive)

Firefighter Michael Chandley, left, who’s been with the Palm Coast Fire Department 10 years, and Lt. Jason Wagner, with the department almost 18 years, saved the dog. Click on the image for larger view. Click on the image for larger view. (© FlaglerLive)

What is also confirmed is that a house painter who was breaking for lunch drove by the scene just as the fire had started, and kicked in the door when he heard dogs barking. He saw two dogs run out. He had been told by neighbors there were three dogs inside, but flames made it impossible to go in. Some reported a dog going back in, though it appears that the third dog was the poodle that Wagner and Chandley saved.

Avel Garon is one of the two painters who was working at 5 Woodholme, nearby, with a partner, when he drove by the scene after seeing smoke. “I looked, and I said that’s a fire, that’s a fire,” Garon, a Palm Coast resident who’s who’s celebrating his 30th birthday on Tuesday, said. “I knocked on the door and I heard the dog barking, so I said I had to kick in the door, maybe someone is inside. So I kicked in the door. The two dogs came out, one brown one, and one white one, then once I got close to the porch, the porch sliding door blew off, I had to get out. It was too hot for me.”

An hour after the blaze, two Palm Coast Animal Control units were in the neighborhood, chasing after at least one of the dogs that had run out of the house. The dog was spotted in various yards not far from the fire, but it would not let itself be caught, and may have been traumatized by the fire.

Beadle said crews would be at the scene late into the day, and neighbors were likely to smell smoke for a while. “They’ll smell this for a week or so,” Beadle said.

Properties around the fire were not in danger even as firefighters were fighting the blaze, as the fire was effectively contained. Sheriff’s office deputies did, for precautionary measures, inform nearby residents of the fire, but no evacuation was necessary.

At 2:49 p.m., some of the fire units were beginning to be released from the scene. Some 13 firefighters were fighting the fire and a half dozen members of the fire police controlled traffic.

Palm Coast Fire Chief Mike Beadle, in command at the scene, gave the ladder truck crew visual directions from the front yard of the house. It is tradition among fire crews that when a fireman appears in a media picture, he is responsible for buying his squad ice cream. When it's the chief, the highest-quality ice cream is required. Click on the image for larger view. (© FlaglerLive)

Palm Coast Fire Chief Mike Beadle, in command at the scene, gave the ladder truck crew visual directions from the front yard of the house. It is tradition among fire crews that when a fireman appears in a media picture, he is responsible for buying his squad ice cream. When it’s the chief, the highest-quality ice cream is required. Click on the image for larger view. (© FlaglerLive)

 

The tenant at 121 Woodhaven embraces his rescued dog, which was saved by Palm Coast Fire Department firefighters and given first aid by Flagler County Fire Rescue in an ambulance, all of which now carry oxygen devices for pets. Click on the image for larger view. (© FlaglerLive)

The tenant at 121 Woodhaven embraces his rescued dog, which was saved by Palm Coast Fire Department firefighters and given first aid by Flagler County Fire Rescue in an ambulance, all of which now carry oxygen devices for pets. Click on the image for larger view. (© FlaglerLive)

 

Lt. Jason Wagner and Firefighter Michael Chandley are thanked by the owner of the dog they rescued. Click on the image for larger view. (© FlaglerLive)

Lt. Jason Wagner and Firefighter Michael Chandley are thanked by the owner of the dog they rescued. Click on the image for larger view. (© FlaglerLive)

 

The house at 121 Woodhaven at around 12:30 this afternoon. Click on the image for larger view. (c FlaglerLive)

The house at 121 Woodhaven at around 11:50 late morning. Click on the image for larger view. (c FlaglerLive)

 

Click on the image for larger view. (© FlaglerLive)

Click on the image for larger view. (© FlaglerLive)

 

Click on the image for larger view. (© FlaglerLive)

Click on the image for larger view. (© FlaglerLive)

 

Click on the image for larger view. (© FlaglerLive)

Click on the image for larger view. (© FlaglerLive)

 

The Stars and Stripes in the front yard showed a little wear, but it continued waving and survived the fire despite its proximity to the flames and embers. Click on the image for larger view. (© FlaglerLive)

The Stars and Stripes in the front yard showed a little wear, but it continued waving and survived the fire despite its proximity to the flames and embers. Click on the image for larger view. (© FlaglerLive)

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19 Responses for “Massive Fire Demolishes a House on Palm Coast’s Woodhaven Dr., But 3 Dogs Are Saved”

  1. A.S.F. says:

    So sorry to read about this. My sincerest condolences to the owners.

  2. K9 Resque says:

    K9 Resque would like to offer assistance to the residents of this home, we offer disaster supplies for the pets involved.. if someone can please contact us, we can help

  3. The Truth says:

    Wow, what a tragedy. Thank God someone was able to rescue those dogs and no one else was hurt. God bless our firefighters.

  4. Brian Curbow says:

    My thoughts and prayers to the victims of this horrible tragedy! May God keep you all safe!

  5. Brian Curbow says:

    If he appears on a news broadcast in video, a firefighter is required to purchase the crew DINNER (usually a steak dinner). Looks like Chief Beadle lucked out on this one with only having to buy a few gallons of Edy’s or Blue Bell!

  6. Heather says:

    Lucky the brown/reddish hound mix was caught by Palm Coast Animal Control and the owner’s father.

  7. Nancy N. says:

    All I can think of reading this and seeing the excellent and heroic work of our county crews is why on earth would Flagler Beach rather have that circus they call a department instead of these guys?

    • Will says:

      Nancy, you may have a point there, but “these guys” are the Palm Coast FD under Chief Beadle, and not the Flagler County FD. All are terrific.

      • Nancy N. says:

        Whoops, you would think having been involved with calls with the FD several times at and around my home that I would know that. My bad.

    • Anonymous says:

      Because they want to remain “FIERCELY INDEPENDENT” and just slightly above ignorant!

  8. deb says:

    once again, our fire fighters are heroes. Flagler County and Palm Coast Fire Crews have their acts together, thank goodness.
    oh btw…I believe what was in the garage was an Acetylene tank and yes, they are very combustible!

  9. Anita says:

    Our firefighters are worth every penny and more of our taxes.

  10. What do u think says:

    Isn’t the reported tank an acetelyne tank, used in welding?

  11. Rick Belhumeur says:

    Acetylene is used in conjunction with oxygen to cut steel or weld various metals such as steel, iron, brass and copper among others.

  12. anonymous says:

    Thank God nobody was injured and all the pets were saved! Great work guys! Good thing they have an actual chief…and a fantastic one at that! Pray nothing like that happens in FB any time soon…. Thank you for your awesome work and bravery to enter a burning building to rescue people or pets…Not all would have had the guts to do it…but real firefighters do! Enjoy your ice cream boys!!!!

  13. confidential says:

    Kudos to our firefighters that saved those dogs!

  14. Donna Heiss says:

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. We have the absolute best emergency responders in the city and county. Hats off to all, from dispatchers to LEO’s to firefighters, medics and lets not forget fireflight! A fabulous team effort from all of you always!

  15. another firefighter question says:

    And………where was a backup company??? Are you kidding me?? Those guys worked all day……suppressed the fire (althiugh not like most fire attacks are accomplished ), overhauled the structure, and picked up (hose, equipment, etc.) with NO OTHER HELP! My guys would have been screaming……..and a backup company ready to take over any operations. Welcome to Florida…….

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