On October 17, 2021, the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office (FCSO) responded to a residence in the W section of Palm Coast about a house fire. K-9 Deputy First Class (DFC) Marcus Dawson arrived at the scene and observed movement in the back master bedroom of the residence and found a 3-year-old hiding in fear.

DFC Dawson met with a neighbor who advised that the fire started in the kitchen and he had not seen the three occupants that day. Upon checking the exterior of the residence, DFC Dawson observed a fire on the stove that was spreading to the cabinets. There was thick black smoke filling the residence and dogs barking at the sliding glass door of the rear bedroom. DFC Dawson made verbal commands into the residence and did not receive any response.

As he was walking to the front of the residence, he observed the bathroom light on and made more announcements through the front door, again not receiving any response.  He walked around to the back of the house and entered the patio through the unlocked screened door. DFC Dawson observed movement in the bed of the master bedroom and as he got close, he observed a toddler under the blankets hiding from the smoke. He immediately entered the residence to rescue the child and carried him out of the home. The toddler immediately received medical attention and was cleared on scene.

Upon meeting with the toddler’s father, it was determined the father went to pick up dinner and left the sleeping child home with an older sibling.

“Without DFC Dawson immediately running toward danger, even without a safety respirator, this could have been a much different outcome,” Sheriff Rick Staly said. “This child was hiding in fear of the fire and smoke watching a cartoon on his phone when, thankfully, DFC Dawson’s training in emergency response allowed him to find this child and safely rescue him. This was a dangerous situation and we are very proud of DFC Dawson’s bravery and commitment to serving this community and saving a life.”

All three residents of the home were safe with no injuries. The scene was turned over to Palm Coast Fire Department (PCFD).  The fire was believed to be accidental and possibly cooking-related.

View Footage Here: https://youtu.be/smShzLMXj8o

Media Release:

Date: October 18, 2021

Prepared by: Melissa Morreale

Phone and Email:  386-529-4086; mmorreale@flaglersheriff.com  Release #: 2021-243