Florida News

Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Firefighters put out massive blaze inside northwest Miami-Dade County home

VIDEO: Firefighters responded to a house fire in Miami-Dade County on Saturday. It happened near Northwest 124th Street and 20th Avenue at approximately 4:24 p.m. Upon arrival, fire crews found heavy smoke and large flames coming from the home. No injuries were reported. The cause of the fire is under investigation.
WPLG-TV ABC 10 Miami

Winter Haven names new fire chief

The City of Winter Haven will swear in its new fire chief on Thursday. Joseph "Sonny" Emery Jr., 46, was promoted to the position of fire chief on Jan. 10. He's overseen the department in an interim role since last June. While Emery said he's a man of few words, he does have one to describe the way the promotion made him feel: honored. "It felt like God had just opened the door that I needed to walk through," Emery said. "I feel like I'm where I need to be right now in the department." Emery, the son of a firefighter, started his career in Polk County around 25 years ago. He was a volunteer, part-time firefighter for about six months at the county before taking an open position in Winter Haven in 1998, where he's been ever since. He fell in love with being a firefighter: the knowledge of how to handle emergencies, the comradery, the schedule.
The Ledger - Metered Site

Gainesville Fire Rescue firefighters respond to house fire

VIDEO: No injuries have been reported after an early morning house fire in Gainesville. At 6:00 Saturday morning, a total of 17 Gainesville Fire Rescue firefighters responded to the home on Northwest Fifth Avenue. Thanks to fire alarms in the home, all occupants were able to escape uninjured. The blaze was so bad that even three neighbors have been displaced. GFR is investigating the cause of the fire.
WCJB-TV ABC/CW 20 Gainesville

Alachua County Fire Rescue adds 15th 24-hour Rescue Unit to Fire Station 80

Alachua County Fire Rescue (ACFR) added its 15th 24-hour Rescue Unit to Fire Station 80 this morning, Jan. 17th. The unit will service the southwest portion of Gainesville. This is the second Rescue Unit added that covers that territory. The unit is responsible for transporting patients to local hospitals and perform life saving techniques. ACFR Deputy Chief, Harold Theus, said that last year, Station 80 ran about 4,500 calls. Firefighters believe this additional unit will cut that number in half. "It's going to allow for more availability of the rescue unit. Also, provide a much better work environment for the crews that are assigned to that station. They're not having to do that work demand that they're doing before. It's really a win-win for the public, but also for our crews," said Chief Theus.
WGFL-TV CBS 4 Gainesville

Large fire breaks out at Opa-locka junkyard

A large fire broke out in Miami-Dade County on Saturday, leading to a large response from firefighters. According to Miami-Dade Fire Rescue, several vehicles caught on fire at a junkyard in Opa-locka near Northwest 32nd Avenue and 127th Street. Firefighters tried to contain the blaze to the junkyard, but it became a second alarm fire, requiring additional backup and resources, authorities said. Eventually the fire was contained and extinguished. No injuries were reported, and the cause of the fire remains under investigation.
WPLG-TV ABC 10 Miami

Iona McGregor Fire District responds to EF2 tornado in Lee County

PHOTOS: The Iona McGregor Fire District provided a deeper look into the damage in the area following the EF2 tornado via Facebook. The tornado touched down in the Iona area with peak winds of 118 mph, according to the National Weather Service (NWS). According to the NWS, 108 mobile homes were damaged in three different communities, 51 sustained major damage, and 30 mobile homes were destroyed. Iona McGregor fire officials are advising residents to use caution if they are visiting their homes. Officials have also asked non-residents to stay away from the area as the situation is still hazardous. The post also provided a link to Lee County’s website storm updates.
WBBH-TV NBC 2 Fort Myers

Friday, January 14, 2022

Abby Pedigo named St. Augustine fire marshal

St. Augustine Fire Chief Carlos Aviles has announced that Fire Safety Inspector Abby Pedigo was selected as the next fire marshal to succeed retiring Fire Marshal Robert “Bob” Growick, effective Feb. 23. A St. Augustine native, Pedigo graduated from St. Augustine High School in 2008, and went on to complete her associates of arts in English from Santa Fe College in 2009. She graduated from Flagler College in 2017 with a bachelor of science in public administration. Pedigo joined the St. Augustine Fire Department in November 2014 as a firefighter and paramedic. “The office of the fire marshal plays a vital role in our overall mission, and with the position comes an immense amount of responsibility,” Aviles said. When asked about being selected as fire marshal, Pedigo said, “I am grateful for the opportunity to serve my city in this capacity and humbled by the outpouring of support from my department and our city administration.”
Ponte Vedra Recorder

Fire destroys home in Ensley, family and dog safe

PHOTO: Escambia County Fire Rescue responded to a fire on Jan. 13 at the 60 block of N. Ensley Street in Ensley. When firefighters arrived, flames and smoke were already engulfing the back of the home. Firefighters were able to put the fire out in about 17 minutes. The home did have fire alarms which sounded off when the fire began to spread, saving the residents inside. Firefighters managed to save the resident’s dog, who needed to be resuscitated. No one was injured during the fire, but the home was completely destroyed. Investigators determined that the fire was caused from a lit candle that fell on a mattress. Residents who lost their home are now being helped by the American Red Cross.
WKRG-TV CBS 5 Mobile

What’s new in DeLand’s new Fire Station 81?

It’s been a year in the making, but the DeLand Fire Department’s new fire station, Fire Station 81, is set to open its doors for regular operations Tuesday, Jan. 18. The new station, at 343 W. Howry Ave., will replace the current fire station at 201 W. Howry Ave. So what’s new about the city’s newest fire station? The new Fire Station 81 is 16,000 square feet, an improvement over the old Fire Station 81, which totaled around 9,000 square feet. The new station cost around $5.5 million, DeLand Fire Chief Todd Allen said, and the former fire station will eventually be torn down to make room for a public parking lot. With more space comes better consolidation of the Fire Department, Allen said. While various elements of the Fire Department were spread across various buildings, the newly constructed Fire Station 81 will serve as a home base for the department with more space for meetings.
West Volusia Beacon

Santa Rosa County Commissioners agree to give 51 volunteer firefighters in county $1,000 stipend

The Santa Rosa County Board of County Commissioners on Thursday agreed to use $51,000 in American Rescue Plan Act funds to provide every active volunteer firefighter in the county with a $1,000 relief stipend. The 51 volunteer firefighters belong to the all-volunteer departments of Berrydale, Munson, Jay, Allentown and Harold. Jay Volunteer Fire Department Chief Tony Simmons said he appreciated the show of good faith. “We get good support from our county leadership from emergency management and from the county commission itself,” Simmons said. “In just thanking (us) shows that they do appreciate what we do on a daily basis.” At a commission committee meeting Monday, District 5 Commissioner Colten Wright leaned into the fact that he believed these volunteers deserved something for what they accomplish.
Pensacola News Journal - Metered Site

2 dogs killed in West Palm Beach house fire

Two dogs died in a house fire off Broadway Avenue on 54th Street in West Palm Beach on Thursday. Smoke was still coming out of the windows of a Pinewood Park Home. Firefighters said they got the call around 1:30 p.m. Neighbors DeAndre and Stephanie live in the back unit of the building and made it out. "There was hella smoke in there. It's crazy," DeAndre said. But two dogs from the home’s other unit didn't make it. For this couple, they said they’re just happy they are OK. "We’re just waiting and seeing what's gonna happen next," a family member said. The cause of the fire is still under investigation, but the fire department does say it could have been a lot worse.
WPTV NBC 5 West Palm Beach

Jacksonville: Family-owned restaurants burn down after 45 years

It took about 45 minutes for 45 years of business to go up in smoke Thursday morning on north Main Street. “A lot of prayers would be nice," said Seham Kassees-Salazar. "A lot a lot of prayers. As much as my son’s helped the community and everybody, let’s hope and pray they will pull together for them as well.” Kassees-Salazar’s son and brother both own the restaurants: Junior’s Seafood and Junior’s Famous Sandwiches. Famous they are. “The owners… they don’t deserve this," said Logan Hrachovina, former employee and a regular. "Everybody in Jacksonville knows this place!” Hrachovina and his family stared in disbelief. They walked to the restaurant to see the damage. As the smoke dissipated and lunch time came loyal customers rolled into the parking lot.
WTLV-TV NBC 12 Jacksonville

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