News

SJCFR suspends staffers amid condo fire investigation


ID=30217499PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. -- Three 911 calls from a resident alerting dispatchers to a Ponte Vedra Beach condo fire have led St. Johns County Fire Rescue to suspend two staffers and launch an internal investigation into the agency's response.

That's according to a statement released by agency spokesperson Capt. Jeremy Robshaw Tuesday afternoon. Capt. Robshaw would not release the names of the staffers suspended, citing the active nature of the investigation.

Fire in Nocatee area endangers homes


NOCATEE, Fla. -- At least six acres burned in a brush fire Monday. The Forest Service says the fire threatened homes at one point.

"It's really scary," said Maureen Chen. She lives just feet from where firefighters with St. Johns County and the Forest Service were working.

"It's really scary to think that we could wake up in the middle of the night and have a fire in the backyard of our house," she said.

Neighbors say lightning started the fire, and within hours, flames were towering above homes.

"20 to 25 feet over the roof line," said Chris Nelson.

First responders were able to contain the fire before any homes were impacted. However, with no rain on the way and more storms in the forecast, Chen says she's hoping their home survives the fire season.

"It is devastating, kind of heartbreaking to see," Chen said.


Forest Service: Brush fire briefly threatens Nocatee homes


ID=29132353PONTE VEDRA, Fla. -- The Florida Forest Service and St. Johns County Fire Rescue were called to the scene of a brush fire threatening some homes in Nocatee Monday afternoon, authorities said.

The agencies were called to the fire, located near Palm Island Way, about 2 p.m., a spokesperson for the Forest Service told First Coast News. The fire has since been contained, but briefly threatened two homes nearby, spokesperson Greg Dunn said.

It burned about six acres, authorities said.


SJCSO: 4-year-old boy shot in stomach in St. Augustine


ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. — A 4-year-old boy was shot in the stomach on Sunday afternoon at a house on the 3800 block of Osprey Circle in St. Augustine.

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Captain Andrew O'Quinn with St. John's County Fire Rescue said the boy had "critical wounds" but he was listed in "stable condition".

St. John's County Sheriff's Office Major Crimes detectives responded to the scene of the shooting around 4:30 p.m. SJCSO PIO Kevin Kelshaw called the shooting an accident. He said they are not releasing how the shooting happened or who pulled the trigger yet because they want to collect all the evidence to make sure the story they've been told lines up with their findings.

Smoke spotted at Ponte Vedra assisted living center


PONTE VEDRA, Fla. -- Multiple fire crews are at the scene of a possible structure fire at an assisted living facility in Ponte Vedra Beach, authorities said.

According to St. Johns County Fire Rescue, crews were called to the facility in the 1000 block of Vicar's Landing Way at some point Tuesday afternoon after smoke was spotted coming from the roof. Firefighters are still trying to find the source of the smoke, Lt. Jeremy Robshaw told First Coast News.

Firefighters evacuated the facility, which is under construction, according to SJCFR. There were no injuries reported, but two workers were taken to Baptist Beaches for evaluation. No flames were found.

Smoke spotted coming from the roof was found in the attic and ventilated out.

Traffic delays are expected in the area.

Unsuspecting teens take fugitive for a ride


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Taylor Ryan was involved in a high speed chase with police, then ran an SUV into a house in Ponte Vedra. He managed to elude police and decided to ask for a ride at a nearby church. Two teens offered to help but little did they know what they were getting into.

St. Johns County woman dies after car goes into canal


ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. (AP) - A 72-year-old woman has died after north Florida deputies rescued her from a car that had crashed into a drainage canal.

The St. Augustine Recordreports the woman called 911 Sunday night after she was unable to get out of her car. She told dispatchers it was starting to fill up with water.

When rescue workers found the partially submerged car, the woman was unresponsive. They performed CPR and other lifesaving measures and the woman's pulse returned.

She was taken to a Jacksonville Beach hospital where she was pronounced dead.

Authorities are investigating.