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14-02 (UPDATE) Woman's Burns Appear To Be Self-Inflicted

1/16/2014 4:15:52 PM

Contact: Rob Shaw

Jan. 15, 2014

14-02 UPDATE

Woman's Burns Appear To Be Self-Inflicted

(Update to last night's fire investigation; previous releases are below on this matter.)

A preliminary investigation conducted by Clearwater Police homicide detectives indicates that the burns that Rhonda Wolfe sustained late Wednesday were self-inflicted.

Two gas cans, along with a lighter, were found in the garage next to the victim. She also left a suicide note.

The autopsy conducted today by the Pasco-Pinellas Medical Examiner's Office did not result in a final cause of death. That will be released once final toxicology tests are completed.

******************************************

Rob Shaw

Office: 727-562-4333

Cell: 727-224-7831

Media Line: 727-562-4101

Rob.Shaw@myclearwater.com

Woman Dies From Burns Suffered In Fire Last Night

UPDATE: The woman who was burned last night at her house on Lemonwood Street has died. Rhonda Wolfe died at Bayfront Health St. Petersburg shortly before midnight last night. An autopsy is planned for later this morning. More information may be released at that time.

(earlier release follows below)

Investigators Probe Cause of Fire That Critically Injured Woman

(update to earlier release, still photos available on Clearwater FD and Clearwater PD Facebook pages)

A 44-year-old woman was flown to the hospital in critical condition late

Wednesday after she somehow caught fire.

The woman, whose name is not being released at this time, was taken by

helicopter to Bayfront Health St. Petersburg. (Earlier information that she

was taken to Tampa General Hospital's burn unit was not accurate.)

The husband of the woman called the Clearwater Fire & Rescue Department at

10:47 p.m. Firefighters called the Clearwater Police Department three minutes

later.

Officials from both agencies are on scene at this hour trying to determine how

the fire began. An official from the State Fire Marshal's Office, along with

representatives of the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office forensics unit, also

are at the 2880 Lemonwood St. residence. The fire department's arson dog,

Quincy, was brought to the scene as well.

The woman was found engulfed in flames in the single-car garage area of the

home.

Lemonwood Street is located in east Clearwater -- west of McMullen Booth Road

and south of State Road 590.

(Note to morning editors: Further updates are not expected until at least

mid-morning. I will call you or put out a subsequent media alert when I am

told if the situation has changed. Thank you for your understanding in not

reaching out to me for early-morning shows.)

******************************************

Rob Shaw

Office: 727-562-4333

Cell: 727-224-7831

Media Line: 727-562-4101

Rob.Shaw@myclearwater.com