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Date of Issue: December 02, 2009

Quick-thinking visitors contain garbage can fire

A Dumpster fire early Nov. 28 at the Anna Maria Island Beach Resort, Holmes Beach, was quickly brought under control by a visiting volunteer fire chief from Iowa and helpful resort guests.

Brad Coffman, a visiting volunteer firefighter from Iowa, battles a garbage can fire in front of the Anna Maria Island Beach Resort, 39th Street, Holmes Beach, on the morning of Nov. 28.
Islander Photos: Courtesy Kim Coffman.

A unit of the West Manatee Fire Rescue and accompanying firefighters arrived just a few minutes after the blaze was reported..

According to Patrick Raymond, who was staying at an adjacent resort, he heard some children screaming “fire” about 8:45 a.m.

Raymond rushed outside to discover a fire in the garbage cans in the Dumpster area on the road that fronts two resorts.

Brad Coffman, a 20-year volunteer firefighter from Iowa who was staying nearby, also heard the screams and ran to the scene.

“I saw what was going on and knew the fire could spread up the electrical pole and that would be bad,” said Coffman.

He grabbed a garden hose from the resort and began to direct water onto the fire, while Raymond and another visitor got a garbage can full of water and dumped it on the fire. Coffman directed another person to get another hose and spray water on the fire.

By the time a unit of the West Manatee Fire Rescue arrived at 8:49 a.m., the blaze was nearly extinguished, according to a WMFR firefighter.

“They acted real fast and knew what to do,” the firefighter said. “It’s probably a lucky thing that a firefighter was nearby and did the right thing.”

Coffman said the fire damaged some garbage cans and charred the electric pole and three palm trees, but did not spread further.

 Coffman’s brother, Kim, a photographer from Houston, took pictures of the volunteers and the WMFR firefighters in action.

The WMFR firefighter said the cause of the blaze is under investigation, but damage was minimal.

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