Storage units catch fire in Ponte Vedra Beach

By Crystal Moyer, Morning assignment desk, backup traffic reporter, cmoyer@wjxt.com
Published On: Jul 07 2014 07:01:17 AM EDT
Updated On: Jul 07 2014 07:39:03 PM EDT

The owner of a vintage corvette says he is thankful he just moved the car out of his storage unit in Ponte Vedra Beach before his unit caught fire.

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. -

Dozens of storage units were damaged after a fire in Ponte Vedra Beach on Monday morning, according to St. Johns County Fire and Rescue.

Fire crews were dispatched to Atlantic Self Storage on 65 Executive Way around 6:20 a.m. in reference to fire. When crews arrived, firefighters saw light smoke coming from dozens storage units, according to SJCFR.

Fire crews were able to knock down the fire in about 20 minutes, but 20-40 storage units were damaged as a result of the fire.

SJCFR said no injuries were reported.

Fire officials say it was a tough fight because the fire was in several areas and each storage unit had its own lock.

"Sometimes It can be difficult depending if you've got multiple fire locations, which we did," said Capt. Andrew O'Quinn of SJCFR. "It's just a process that we have to go through where we find we noticed the high heat areas, open those up first, and then in a coordinated effort, move out from there and make sure there is no fire extension."

No cause or damage estimate was available Monday morning.

Later Monday, Pauli Purcell was trying to get her luggage for a vacation and luckily did not have anything damaged. But she had to wait to get her stuff until Monday evening.

Purcell said she had no idea there was a fire.

"Just pulled up and thought, 'Wow, that's surprising,'" she said.

Another storage user wasn't so lucky.

"I saw the units that were involved. I'm on the back side of the units, but the same building," he said. "When I talked to the officer, I gave him my unit number and, 'Yep, you're one of the lucky guys, or unlucky guys.'"

Although it is upsetting about his motorcycle being damaged, he did recently move his 1962 fully restored Corvette out of storage. So he is thankful that wasn't damaged.

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