NEWS-PRESS.com

Cause of unrelated fires still under investigation


By SARAH LUNDY, slundy@news-press.com


Investigators on Friday still were piecing together what sparked two unrelated fires earlier this week that involved two deaths.

On Thursday, a fire ignited shortly before 9 a.m. and set off explosions inside a Lowell Court home in Fort Myers. The Fire Marshal’s Office said the cause is still under investigation, and detectives are interviewing witnesses.

Firefighters found Richard Murray, 68, lying on the floor about 15 feet from the front door of his home, according to a Fort Myers fire report. His wife, Jean, 65, escaped unharmed.

The cause of death is pending toxicology test results, said Detective Scott Bialy.

On Monday, the city of Fort Myers plans to honor five city employees who tried to rescue Murray.

Murray’s death came about 38 hours after the body of a woman was found inside her burning Fort Myers Shores home.

The Fire Marshal’s Office confirmed Friday that Tuesday’s fire at Marjorie Peck’s residence on Second Street was intentionally set, the Lee County Sheriff’s Office reported.

Firefighters responded to the fire shortly before 7 p.m. and dragged Peck, 62, from the northeast bedroom. The cause of death is pending more tests, authorities said.

Detectives released a sketch of a man seen in the area around the time of the fire. The man is wanted for questioning and is not considered a suspect, said Lee County Sheriff’s Deputy Larry King.

CrimeStoppers fielded at least three calls so far from people with information about the man, King said. The tips were being checked, but deputies still did not have the man’s name.

Anyone with information about the man is asked to call the Lee County Sheriff’s Office at 477-1000 or CrimeStoppers at 332-5555 or 1-800-780-TIPS.