Dunlawton Bridge reopens after fire

Firefighters rappel 80 feet over side of bridge to battle blaze

PORT ORANGE, Fla. – A fire prompted officials to close the Dunlawton Bridge in Port Orange temporarily Monday.

The fire was reported at 11 a.m. Monday after vacuum hoses used during construction caught fire, Port Orange Fire Chief Ken Fustin said.

"It was an accident related to a bridge rehabilitation going on the bottom side of the Dunlawton Bridge. Some of the vacuum hoses that are drawing dust and particles that they sandblast off the bridge started to catch fire," Fustin said.

All the hoses for the vacuum system were on an elaborate scaffolding system that's under the bridge, Fustin said. It's unclear how many hoses caught fire.

Firefighters had to rappel about 80 feet over the side of the bridge to extinguish the blaze, according to Fustin.

"Access was very difficult because we had to literally rappel over the side of the bridge to get to the area that was on fire," Fustin said.

Engineers evaluated the bridge and it was back open to traffic in both directions by 2 p.m., officials with the Daytona Beach Shores Police Department said.

Dave Marotto was fishing on the pier when firefighters rushed him off the Dunlawton Bridge around 11 a.m.
"We smelled something burning, looked up and it was all engulfed in flames up there," Marotto said. "The debris was falling into the water so I guess that's what they were afraid of."


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