Flagler Sheriff’s Deputy and SWAT Member Jonathon Duenas Escapes Blazing Patrol Car on CR35
FlaglerLive | January 14, 2016
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.