While patrolling the midnight shift in St. Johns County, Trooper Dennis Shorter stopped at a local gas station. As Trooper Shorter exited his vehicle a motorist advised him that heavy smoke was seen near an elementary school just east of their location on the south side of State Road 207.
As Trooper Shorter left the gas station and drove to the entrance of the school, he did not see a fire but did notice heavy smoke in the area. As he drove around the area, Trooper Shorter noticed a remote driveway east of the school entrance where he found a fire, approximately an acre in size, burning in a thick wooded area. The fire had climbed the pine trees, was burning upward as high as twenty feet, and was fast approaching a mobile home in the area.
After notifying the St. Johns County Fire Department, Trooper Shorter immediately began to check the mobile home for occupants. Trooper Shorter utilized his siren & blue flashing lights to waken the two residents who were sleeping soundly in the home. When the two occupants came to the front door, they were very surprised to see that an out of control fire was so close to their home and very grateful at the same time that Trooper Shorter not only located the fire but woke them up. The fire department arrived shortly thereafter and extinguished the fire saving the mobile home from burning.
If Trooper Shorter had not taken the extra step to locate the source of the smoke, the mobile home and its sleeping occupants might not have survived.