Reader Liz Ruotolo sent us these photos from an accident scene on Palmetto Park Road this morning.
We hope to get more information on this incident, but it’s possible we will strike out.
If any of our other readers know more, please let us know in the comments here or on the West Boca News Facebook page.
Update: The house appears to be secure. We saw a neighbor being interviewed (see video at bottom) and she said that she heard an explosion that sounded like an electrical transformer, and then heard someone climb over her fence. Government officials are reporting that the property was being used as a “grow house” for marijuana production. No word yet on any injuries.
Sandalfoot Cove was host to numerous first responders and a media scrum. Residents reported an explosion on SW 62nd Street, which lies between Palmetto Park Road and SW 3rd Street, between Lyons and 441.
The street was full of people and emergency vehicles when West Boca News arrived. Here you can see a cameraman in the foreground, with Fire and PBSO personnel mid-ground and residents in the background.
Out on SW 3rd the TV trucks were in force:
Here you can see the house in question, with windows in obvious disarray and PBSO deputies heading around to the back of the house:
And here’s the best close-up we could get of the house.
While first responders were entering without safety equipment, a PBSO deputy told us to stay back to the other side of the street because the house might still be unstable. We didn’t believe him but obeyed anyway.
They brought out lots of heavy equipment, including the PBSO bomb squad:
Here’s some video of the scene:
And here’s part of a TV station interview with the next-door neighbor
A reader helped with research on the property. It is owned by “62nd Avenue Holdings, LLC.” That company is filed with Florida by registered agent (and real estate agent) John McCann of Boca Valley Realty on North Federal Highway.
The Sunbiz filing shows one individual who may be the owner or manager of an investor group, Mario Monello.
We don’t know if it’s the same person, but there was a Mario Monello involved with Lehman Brothers before the financial collapse. That Mario Monello is mentioned in this CNN story about leveraged finance back in 1989. One fictional work about the collapse has a character named Mario Monelli, perhaps an homage: The Lions’ Den.
Seeking help from Wall Street, Julie finds an unlikely defender of the American system, Mario Monelli, a Mergers and Acquisitions expert at a prestigious investment banking house, pitting him against his long time Wall Street nemesis, Barton Mulvaney, rumored to have shadowy ties to the Royal family. Mario is nervous about the idea, and whether he has the pedigree to challenge Bart. But he’s also falling in love with Julie and uses the opportunity to be around her.
Mario also heads up the Zoo Crew, a wild bunch of investment bankers who lack the breeding and education of their colleagues—but not the brains—and have dedicated themselves to helping beleaguered companies fend off corporate raiders.
We called McCann’s office and left a message. We were not the first call and we suspect Mr. McCann is wisely avoiding any public comment.
Here’s another video – firefighters entering the home after the situation stablized:
*Please note that for most pictures in this article, you can click and see a larger version, especially the panorama shots.*
Glades Road was blocked this morning from 441 to as far as 95th Street (the street for the Glades Library and JCC complex). This was the result of a gas leak. By the time we arrived it was still blocked between the eastern Shadowood entrance and 441.
They even had a PBSO vehicle on the west side of 441 keeping things clear.
After speaking with emergency workers on scene, we learned that the gas leak was at or near the middle entrance on Glades to the Westwinds of Boca plaza (the one with Home Depot and Publix). While there were early reports that the entire plaza was being evacuated (and possibly Shadowood Plaza as well), it appears that the problem was well contained between the Animal Hospital and the ABC Wine & Spirits on one side and Glades Road on the other.
Communication between agencies may have been imperfect. After we got notice from Palm Beach County Fire Rescue that the leak had been closed and the area was safe, this deputy was still putting up tape blocking the area off.
The scene was loaded with emergency workers. Including firefighters, paramedics, deputies and FPL workers, we saw at least 50 of them and maybe as many as 100. It was already warm out and the fire rescue workers had clearly been working hard.
Happily it appears that the paramedics did not have any patients and they used the incident as an opportunity for training and prep for future incidents.
It was an impressive scene and we took quite a few pictures. Below are some panorama shots that attempt to capture the scene: