BUNNELL, Fla. – A member of the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office helped save three people and pets from a house fire Tuesday morning in Bunnell.
According to the Sheriff's Office, civil clerk Ashlie Hicks was driving to work about 8:15 a.m. when she noticed smoke billowing out of a home on East Lambert Street and then called 911 to report that the front porch was engulfed in flames.
"I saw the flames coming off the porch, so, I got out of the car and ran around the back of the house and started banging on the door to get them to come outside," Ashlie Hicks told News4Jax.
Out of concern, Hicks ran to the back of the house and began beating on the door to alert anyone inside.
“I felt like I was banging on the door for a very long time. It was probably only seconds but it took a while to get them awake, all of the residents were sleeping," Hicks said. "They came to the door, obviously confused at the beginning, and once they realized the house was on fire they tried getting the pets together to get out of the house.”
Sheriff Rick Staly applauded the heroic efforts of Hicks, who was formerly an FCSO communications specialist for 10 years before transferring to the civil section.
"Without Ashlie stepping in, there could have been a much different outcome," Staly said. "Thankfully, Ashlie used her experience as a dispatcher to help those in need despite the dangerous conditions. She very well could have saved three lives today. We are proud of her."
Flagler County Fire Rescue, the Palm Coast and Flagler Beach fire departments, the Bunnell Police Department and the Sheriff’s Office responded to the blaze, which was out before 8:40 a.m.
Flagler County Fire Marshal Jerry Smith is investigating the cause of the house fire, which appears to have started on the front porch. Hicks said the home was likely a total loss.
The American Red Cross was called to assist the three adults who lived there.