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Flagler Sheriff’s Deputy and SWAT Member Jonathon Duenas Escapes Blazing Patrol Car on CR35

| January 14, 2016

vehicle fire

Deputy Jonathon Duenas’s patrol car, post-fire. (FCSO)

The Flagler County Sheriff’s Office posted the following explanation with the above picture on its Facebook page this evening:

“Deputy Jonathon Duenas was driving on CR 35 (off of SR 100), on the Westside of the county when he heard a pop coming from the trunk of his patrol car. He immediately noted a cabin pressure change and noticed smoke coming from the trunk of the car. He was able to get safely out of the car and quickly retrieved several high dollar items (computer, rifle, etc.) before the car was fully involved with flames. It is uncertain at this time what the cause of the fire was. The car was a total loss. Deputy Duenas was treated and released for minor smoke inhalation.”

Here’s how Duenas described the incident, according to an incident report he filed. The report was released to FlaglerLive Friday: ” I heard what sounded like a rock striking the bottom of my patrol vehicle from the direction of my trunk. Due to fact that I was currently travelling on an unimproved dirt road, I thought nothing of the noise until I heard a subsequent similar noise coming from the same area and observed that white smoke was now emitting from the trunk compartment of my patrol vehicle.

“I immediately stopped my patrol vehicle and opened the trunk compartment at which time I observed that my agency issued road flares were actively burning within their issued container and had ignited many of the items within the trunk compartment. Due to the current location of the active flames, I was unable to obtain my agency issued fire extinguisher to assist in matter. I then ran to the yard of a nearby residence and utilized a garden hose in an attempt to extinguish the flames; which had now spread to the back seat of my patrol car. I was unsuccessful in my attempts to extinguish the flames by use of the garden hose and a fire extinguisher provided to me by a neighbor in the area was ineffective as well. Upon the arrival of Flagler County Fire Rescue at approximately 1:11 PM, my patrol vehicle was fully engulfed in flames.

“I was then transported to Florida Hospital Flagler by Flagler County Emergency Services for treatment of minor smoke inhalation that I sustained while attempting to gather pertinent valuables from with my patrol vehicle.”

Jonathon Duenas, who has been with the sheriff’s office since October 2012, is the SWAT team deputy who last June stopped traffic on the Flagler Beach bridge and carried a large soft-shell turtle to safety (with help from a contractor who volunteered his shovel.) He was also part of the large-scale active-shooter exercise at Flagler Palm Coast High School that same month. An image of Duenas in action, taken at the time of the exercise, appears below.

The Flagler County Sheriff's Jonathon Duenas, a member of the department's SWAT team, taking part in today's active-assailant exercise at Flagler Palm Coast High School. (© Jon Hardison for FlaglerLive)

The Flagler County Sheriff’s Jonathon Duenas, a member of the department’s SWAT team, taking part in last June’s active-assailant exercise at Flagler Palm Coast High School. (© Jon Hardison for FlaglerLive)

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19 Responses for “Flagler Sheriff’s Deputy and SWAT Member Jonathon Duenas Escapes Blazing Patrol Car on CR35”

  1. sunshine says:

    Thank God he is safe, cars can be replaced, people can’t.

  2. wow-really says:

    That reeks.

  3. Scott says:

    I don’t think we are being told the story, just doesn’t sound right.

  4. Shark says:

    What does saving a turtle have to do with his car catching on fire. Just print the facts !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • FlaglerLive says:

      Shark, we like to think of our first responders as more than one-dimensional people. We like to think of our commenters as that as well. More often than not in commenters’ case, we’re disappointed.

  5. Geezer says:

    When the drop in cabin pressure occurred, I understand that the car lost altitude.
    (I’m kidding)
    Any cop who saves turtles is alright in my book. I hope he’s OK, and didn’t breathe
    in too many acrid smoke-borne toxins.

    What the heck was in the trunk?

  6. Shark says:

    I totally agree – and why was he treated for smoke inhalation? Didn’t he have enough sense to exit the vehicle?

  7. Outsider says:

    It sounds “right” to me. Maybe there was a piece of equipment with a defective lithium ion battery in the trunk. Perhaps there was a short circuit in wiring near the GAS TANK. Why the conspiracy theory? Cars catch fire all the time….especially Chevys.

  8. confidential says:

    Glad Sheriff Swat Team Duenas was uninjured. Thank you for retrieving those valuables officer!
    Probably some county young ladies residents won’t mind to be stopped for citations by Mr. Duenas after his pic posted here. Very rewarding to know he is also compassionate wildlife saver and school safety program exercise, Swat Team member.

  9. Gkimp says:

    Bring back the FORD Crown Vic! Best police vehicle ever!

  10. doyle lewis says:

    Always save live first, the higher power helped.

  11. scott says:

    And what story would that be Scott?

  12. Justin says:

    Sorry ford lovers…more ford 150’s catch on fire and are put out along the side of the road than any other vehicle! It was road flares that caused the problem.

  13. Ray Thorne says:

    Confidential says:

    “Probably some county young ladies residents won’t mind to be stopped for citations by Mr. Duenas after his pic posted here”.

    Really? So should they speed? Run stop signs or red lights? What do you suggest the “young ladies residents” do to get stopped for citations? Perhaps the day in traffic court could be considered a date?

  14. Jon Dopp says:

    @ Shark-
    He exited the vehicle, then returned to remove several high value items (computer, rifle, etc) . He was exposed to smoke while retrieving these items and while attempting to put the fire out .He was treated for smoke inhalation as a precaution . He had the sense to get out…….I’ll reserve judgement regarding your level of sense

  15. confidential says:

    Ray can’t you take a joke..?
    My words were originated by some innocent funny comments made by a bunch of teen relatives visiting on vacation when the saw the editorial….that was all.

  16. Brian says:

    Ray thorne needs to grow up.lol he did what he needed to do and no I don’t think anyone on here said that ladies need to speed and get pulled over by him.it was a joke.no need to take it all serious.great job Jonathan duenas

  17. Red Rover says:

    As a member of the SWAT team, he was most likely caring and explosive entry charge that decided to go boom. Or some handmade munitions that where not properly made that rubbed together while on that bumpy road and the powder ignited.

  18. Barb says:

    I just might do that Confidential! He’s hot! (No pun intended!)

    I’m glad he’s okay!

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