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Flagler Firefighters Pull Off Two Saves in 12 Hours–A $1.2 Million Home and Strip Mall Shop

| June 15, 2018

Friday morning's fire broke out at the Flagler Plaza Bike N Coffee shop. (© FlaglerLive)

Friday morning’s fire broke out at the Flagler Plaza Bike N Coffee shop. (© FlaglerLive)

Flagler County firefighters from three agencies, responding rapidly to two fires in 12 hours, pulled off two saves in both instances that within minutes could have led to far more serious damage: a $1.2 million home was saved in the Hammock after a lightning strike Thursday evening, and a shop at Flagler Plaza was saved this morning after an electrical device had started a fire, when the shop was unattended as it had not yet opened.


Firefighters occasionally note that only fires that gut and demolish properties make the news while more common saves never garner attention even though they show firefighters at their best.

This morning’s fire broke out around 8:30 p.m. at the Bikes ‘N Coffee shop at Flagler Plaza–better known as the Winn Dixie plaza–a relatively new shop sandwiched between a pizza parlor on one side and Insurance Traffic School and the Steel Beauty parlor on the other.

It isn’t yet clear who called in the fire to the 911 dispatch center, but when a Flagler County Sheriff’s deputy arrived at the scene, he reported seeing flames within, through the shop’s glass panes.

Flagler Beach Fire Department Captain Steve Cox said the county’s Rescue 92 was first on scene following the deputy. Firefighters broke through the door, and when the county’s Engine 92 arrived, “they pulled a line and when they were doing a search in the building they found the source of the fire which appears to be a battery charger for one of the bikes. They ended up knocking it down.” The fire was contained to four-foot-by-four-foot area, damaging the charger and a stretch of carpet.

Flagler Beach Fire Department Captain Steve Cox at this morning's fire at Flagler Plaza. (© FlaglerLive)

Flagler Beach Fire Department Captain Steve Cox at this morning’s fire at Flagler Plaza. (© FlaglerLive)

The business was not due to open until 9:01 a.m.

Flagler Beach’s and Palm Coast’s fire departments also sent their units. “It’s a big strip mall. It could have got away quick,” said Flagler County Fire Rescue Captain Richard Bennett, who now operates out of the county’s new station out of Bunnell. “That could have been a big call, being how it’s a strip mall, side by side businesses. This is a commercial structure, obviously, that always provokes a big response.”

The Palm Coast Fire Police had cordoned off large sections of the Flagler Plaza parking lot during the response, but by 9:15 the emergency was over, so was the clean-up, and Cox and Bennett said the business would be able to open as normal. The owner had just arrived on scene.

“Our guys went in with the brooms and swept everything up and cleaned the floors,” Bennett said. “We leave it as good or better than when we found it even after a fire. They took all the bikes out, arranged the bikes so they wouldn’t get hurt in the process. We take a lot of care of people’s valuables. That’s also something a lot of people don’t know we try and do.”

The fire in the Hammock broke out between 7 and 8 p.m. Thursday evening, possibly during a lightning storm, at 46 Hammock Beach Circle, a three-level wooden structure built in 2008 and owned by Kenneth and Lisa Dakdduk. Kenneth Dakdduk called 911 at 7:48 p.m. and told the dispatcher he heard a loud bang then started smelling something burning–an electrical smell. There were three adults and a 2-year-old child in the house at the time.

Flagler County Fire Chief Don Petito said the fire was in the ceiling and walls between the first and second floors.

Captain Jimmy Shaw was in command at the scene. “They investigated first the first floor, found no smoke but heat and the smell of smoke,” he said of Engine 41 county firefighters, who were first on scene, followed by Palm Coast’s Engine 22. “They then went to the attic to confirm it hadn’t traveled up to the attic and worked their way down to the third and to the second floor.” A ceiling was pulled in a kitchen, where the fire was stopped. Palm Coast’s Engine 21 and Ladder 25 also responded. The house was saved with “minimal damage,” Shaw said.

All engines cleared the scene at 9:06 p.m.

bike and coffee shop

(© FlaglerLive)

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21 Responses for “Flagler Firefighters Pull Off Two Saves in 12 Hours–A $1.2 Million Home and Strip Mall Shop”

  1. Flagler Female says:

    Great job and a standing O for those brave men and women!!!!

  2. Anonymous says:

    How many saves in 30 days, 60 days or even a year? Let is see what such saves are costing us. Do we have more fire fighters than needed? Do we need more equipment? Do we need to make adjustments of any kind to see that we are best served? When are any of these statistics reviewed and appropriate adjustments made to ensure we where we need to be?

  3. Pat says:

    Great job!! Thank you for all you do to protect us.

  4. Ol’ Sarge says:

    Anonymous- the staffing levels in the city and the county are at the absolute minimum if not understaffed…what a ridiculous thing to ask

  5. Dave says:

    I didn’t think the fire people fought fires for the attention and thank you. I always assumed they just wanted to help and were passionate. This article shows them in a new light. It’s not very flattering. I am grateful for all you do Fire people! Thank you Thank you Thank you

  6. David S. says:

    I was an FF in Md and even 20 yrs ago staffing was always an issue. The key to this article is training each man is assigned a job and working together brings good results. With Flagler Co and the City of Palm Coast combined on these 2 calls they had enough to do the job.

  7. Motherworry says:

    Anonymous . Here’s a hint for you. When your home is on fire there is no such thing as too many firefighters. I belief that given proper practice our fire dept are understaffed

  8. Tom & Kelli Nugent says:

    We are the owners of Flagler Bike N’ Coffee Shop and we would like to extend a huge thank you to the Flagler County emergency services for their diligent and responsive service. What could have been a major disaster turned out to be nothing more than a minor inconvenience. We appreciate the conscientious manner in which they carried out their duties. Again, thank you!

  9. Richard A Kocik says:

    Anonymous: too many firefighters? Seriously? Try doing the job of a firefighter/medic for one day. Just one day and then tell me why we need as many as we have. Truth is, the county and city are short staffed, and underpaid, with both departments losing guys to surrounding areas.

  10. Mark101 says:

    To grumpy anonymous. I really don’t give a rats ass how much it costs for a fire department to save a persons life or a persons property be it a business or maybe a home. It’s their job and they do a great job. So if you ever have a fire at your home or you are trapped in your car as a result of an accident, think about your statements as these brave men risk their life to save you’rs.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Motherworry–We have experienced a house fire and it was VOLUNTEERS that saved our home and not those that get $60,000 $80,000 or over $100,000 plus benefits to sit in lavish fire stations and wait for fires. Sadly, volunteers were pushed aside to hire fire fighters and service is no better, but way more costly! The volunteers even did it with old equipment. It can be done for far less than what we are currently paying for this service…..when we teachers and nurses can work for $40,000 and $50,000 a year, so can firemen. Nurses are the most under paid and unappreciated first responder’s that exist! There is a lot to be looked at as was previously raised. Now it’s time to answer the hard questions that were asked. Nurses answer to calls every day they go to work!

  12. Shark says:

    Wow – finally something for them to do !!!

  13. DRedder says:

    Wow me thinks that should a FF need to be treated at the hospital they’d encounter a hostile nurse.
    Never begrudge another public service worker over what they get in compensation. Especially a job that requires folks to run in when all others are running out.
    Prehaps a better focus should be placed upon upper management and elected or hired adminstration salaries that have compensation over three times + what our public servants receive.
    It’s always easy to notice the scuffs on shoes never worn.

  14. Mothersworry says:

    Anonymous, I can understand your bitterness at getting paid less that a professional firefighter. So to level the playing field you’d reduce their pay to that of a teacher or a nurse, both commendable professions.
    As I understand it pay is negotiated by contract, just because your representative is not as good as the firefighter’s and did not get you a comparable pay package that quite frankly is on you. Elect a better negotiating team. You know the saying you get the representation you deserve, as you elect it.

  15. Richard A Kocik says:

    Anonymous, number 1, no, you can’t provide the same service with Volunteers that you can with paid crews. It’s not just fires, it’s medical, tech rescue, hazmat, ect. It’s near impossible to find people who can devote all the time to run calls, train, and have their own jobs and family life. I can tell you this from expt, not 20 years ago in old Flagler, but in today’s time as the #2 guy in charge of Bunnell Fire Rescue, prior to it being given away by 3 shady city commissioners, who never once set foot in the station as they booted us (another story for another day.)

    I also challenge your statement of 100k payment. Most of these guys don’t make half that. I have a lot of family and friends in Flagler County, as well as Palm Coast. Most of these departments lose guys monthly because they don’t pay over 50k.

    Lastly, if your going to make claims, put your name to it like I did.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Richard—-the 2 fires in 12 hours could have been handled by a volunteer! Don’t mix apples and oranges. Bottom line, our tax dollars train firefighters so why does that entitle them to more pay? Teachers and nurses pay for their required training and continued education. County workers are being over paid and when we tax payers pay, we should have a voice. There are county workers doing their jobs that require training and they work hard and put in long hours and endur lots of stress, listen and handle public complaints yet they are paid pennies in comparison and without them local government would collapse. Get over the entitlement attitude!

  17. Nancy N. says:

    Anonymous – seriously, do you actually think that those two calls were the only calls the local fire department took all day? Perhaps those were the only flames they put out but those crews respond to medical calls, fire accidents, false alarms, all sorts of things all day long every day. We live around the corner from a station and hear the trucks going out constantly. These guys aren’t sitting around twiddling their thumbs.

    Oh, and I’m sure they are laughing hysterically at the suggestion they are making anywhere near $100k. That’s a ridiculous fantasy.

  18. asacco says:

    Richard…. let’s use facts!
    The number of fire calls in the county is minimal 96 % of calls are medical.
    Most of those med calls can be handled by a rescue with 2 men. Fact you don’t need to run a $500,000 tower truck to a scraped knee call. And when was the last call for tech rescue, and didn’t they call St. John’s when they had the last haz mat call about a year ago? And does Palm Coast not have a chief, deputy chief, 3 battalion chiefs, 3 captains, and 6 lieutenants? Check their salaries for a city with 1 fire a month. Time to consolidate with 1 county wide department and save us all from being taxed to death.!!!!

  19. Dave says:

    Does Flagler County really need paid Firefighters?

  20. Concerned Citizen says:

    @ Anonymous

    Not sure what your beef is with first responders. I’ve seen you post some regular harsh comments which your entitled to but let me explain this.

    The large majority of fire fighters pay for their own education. That includes fire school and Paramedic. They then usually have to find employment on their own Starting salary is 40-45K a year.

    Volunteers are great but the state requires much more training than when I was active. I imagine most volunteers work full time and find it hard to meet those obligations.

    There’s also a matter of insurance and work mans comp. I’m an active emergency services volunteer and trust me everyone worries about that these days.

    Now I don’t agree with the way the County and City are top heavy with brass. Those positions could probably mean more Line Employees. I also don’t agree with how they deploy resources. You don’t need a ladder truck on a Med Call However they do need staffing so find a better way to roll on those or privatize EMS like Volusia does.

    At the end of the day I’m thankful we have Fire Fighter/Paramedics who can save your house from burning down and get you to the hospital if needed.

  21. 107 says:

    Woo Hoo–Pat your self on the back for doing the job you are paid to do. How many saves do you do on an annual basis, and what is the cost for your services annually? We may be surprised at what your service is costing us tax payers and see that we can’t afford you. Maybe we should be looking at hiring an outside agency and outsource this to avoid being over taxed!

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