Dunkin Donuts on Palm Coast Parkway Demolished By Flames During Roof Repairs
FlaglerLive | June 9, 2016
Last Updated: 7 p.m.
The Dunkin Donuts on Palm Coast Parkway near Winn Dixie was engulfed in flames this afternoon after a fire broke out around 4 p.m. The business was operating when the fire started.
The restaurant is “fully involved” in flames, according to authorities at the scene, as firefighters from at least two agencies have been battling the flames.
Palm Coast Fire Chief Mike Beadle is at the scene and in command of the firefighting efforts. There is no impact on traffic along Palm Coast Parkway or Cypress Edge. But smoke is heavy and stinging as it billows in northwesterly directions, over the Parkway.
Beadle said the fire started just before 4 p.m. at the 1310 Palm Coast Parkway location even as patrons and employees were in the building. Flagler County Sheriff’s deputies were first on scene and evacuated the restaurant as the fire broke out inside the roof.
“Within minutes it appeared that the fire vented through the roof within the structure,” Beadle said. When that happens, oxygen is let in and feeds the fire, enabling it to spread much more rapidly. It did. “It was a hot fire, it went pretty quick,” Beadle said.
He added: “I don’t know of anything suspicious.” Given that the business was operating at the time, Beadle said, citing his experience, that the likeliest cause of the fire was an accident. The state fire marshal has been summoned to the scene.
In fact, the roof was under repairs and indications later in the afternoon were that the fire had started on the roof. The contractor’s blue tarps were still visibly draped over the walls of the restaurant even as the fire burned. By close to 6 pm, the front of the restaurant had been gutted. But the fire was stilling burning vigorously at the south end of the restaurant.
Contractor Dal Mar Roofing Industries of 2801 S. Nova Road in South Daytona had pulled the roofing permit for the $33,800 job on May 24, according to city records. The job was a re-roofing. No subcontractors were listed.
Audio: Palm Coast Fire Chief Mike Beadle Sums Up the Fire
Beadle said only Palm Coast firefighters were battling the fire, with Flagler County rescues standing by, along with Flagler County and Flagler Beach firefighters and volunteers. He was not requesting air support from Flagler County Fire Flight, which was circling overhead periodically around 5 p.m., as Palm Coast’s Ladder 25 was dumping cascades of water on the structure. Just after 5 p.m., however, firefighters requested an additional engine to help fight the fire.
The engine arrived at the scene at 5:12 p.m.
Two hours into fighting the fire, several firefighters were getting aid from rescue personnel to ward off exhaustion.
There have been no reported injuries, either among patrons, restaurant staff or firefighters.
Glen Garman, the franchise co-owner and a Palm Coast resident, was standing off the northwest end of the property late this afternoon, making and taking phone calls and watching the firefighters contain the flames as the fire consumed the building. “This is the place where I spend most of my time,” Garman said. “I run this one.”
He’s been involved in the business five years. His partner has owned it for 10. The restaurant is one of five they own, along with the one on State Road 100, one in Daytona Beach, one in Deltona and one in DeBary.
The cause? “We have no idea, we’re going to wait for the fire department to do their investigation and see what they find out, but we have no idea at this point in time what happened,” he said.
There are 35 employees at the location, about half of them employed full time. They all got out safely, “so that’s the important thing for us,” Garman said. It’s too early to say what would happen to the employees, he said, but he’s already been in contact with another Dunkin Donut franchise owner in the area. “She’s going to get busier because of this, the one on State 100 is going to get busier,” he said. “It’s too early to give you any details, but we’ll do everything we can to find them a place to tide them over until we can get this place rebuilt and reopened again.”
That, he said. is a certainty. “As of today our plans are–we have insurance, we love being a part of the community,” Garman said. “Our plans as it is now, we’re going to do everything we can to get this thing rebuilt and up and running as soon as possible.”
He then reflected: “It’s sad, it’s part of my life, it’s a business. But I’m relieved that there were no injuries, that my people are OK. I can replace property. It’s a loss, but it’s not something that–if somebody were injured or worse, died in this, I’d be very emotional right now. But I can live with the loss of property because that, we can always rebuild.”
To the community, he said, his humor unscathed by the nearby flames, “Sorry you’re going to find another place to find your coffee for a couple of months, but you have my promise that we’re going to rebuild and be open for you as soon as possible. Just come back when we rebuild.”