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Merle Reid was shopping at Kohls on Palm Coast Parkway when he heard his name over the intercom asking him to talk to someone at customer service. When he approached the counter, employees told Reid his car was on fire.
“I couldn’t believe it,” Reid said.
Flagler County Sheriff’s deputies and Palm Coast Fire Rescue responded to the fire around 1:30 p.m. They extinguished the engine fire that consumed much of the Buick LeSabre’s front end and investigated, finding no apparent signs of arson or criminal activity, officials said.
Friends of Reid’s also responded to the fire, to help him remove his belongings from his car and to drive him home.
“We all look out for each other here,” said one of those friends, David Hayes. Hayes is a member of PC Bike’s bicycling club, as is Reid. The club rode together Wednesday morning before having lunch at the Funky Pelican in Flagler Beach.
Reid lives part of the year in Palm Coast and part of the year in Ohio.
The fire department will hand the investigation over to Reid’s insurance company, who will decide whether to further investigate, officials said.