Flagler County

Man accused of starting house fire, attacking deputy and firefighter with cane

FLAGLER COUNTY, Fla. — A Flagler County man is accused of starting a house fire after getting in a fight with his family and then attacking a deputy and firefighter who responded to the scene.

Deputies said Mark McKerlie, 48, had lit a mattress on fire inside the home.

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A deputy said when he and a firefighter approached McKerlie outside the home, McKerlie raised his wooden cane and swung it aggressively, hitting the deputy in the head and the firefighter near his armpit.

Officials said they were able to disarm McKerlie and take him into custody while firefighters worked to contain the flames to the back of the home.

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“Taking a swing at one of our deputies or a firefighter who was trying to help was a big mistake,” Flagler County Sheriff Rick Staly said in a statement.

McKerlie faces two counts of battery on a law enforcement officer/firefighter and one count of arson.

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Sarah Wilson

Sarah Wilson, WFTV.com

Sarah Wilson joined WFTV Channel 9 in 2018 as a digital producer after working as an award-winning newspaper reporter for nearly a decade in various communities across Central Florida.