Panama City man dies in house fire
News Herald reporter David Angier contributed to this report.
By Paul L. Mikolajczyk News Herald Writer 747-5089 / firstname.lastname@example.org
PANAMA CITY The absence of smoke detectors in a West 12th Street home may have contributed to a Panama City man’s death in an early morning fire Saturday, according to fire department officials.
Horace O’Shield, 90, woke up at about 3 a.m. to a fire in his house at 1001 W. 12th St. State Fire Marshal Lt. Les Nelson said O’Shield called 9-1-1, then tried to get out of the building, but his normal exit, a rear door, was blocked by flames.
When firefighters arrived they went in to search for O’Shield and found him in a guest bedroom. They removed O’Shield from the house but efforts to revive him were unsuccessful, Nelson said.
He said O’Shield needed a walker to get around and that limited his ability to get out of the house.
Nelson said investigators couldn’t find a smoke detector, either.
“(A smoke detector) probably would have gotten him up earlier,” Nelson said.
He said the fire started in the house’s Florida room. The cause is still under investigation, Nelson said, but it appears to be electrical, possibly started by lightning from Friday night’s storms. He said investigators “are leaning toward” labeling this as an accidental fire.
Nelson said once forensic testing is completed on debris collected from the scene and an autopsy is performed on O’Shield’s body, investigators should have a better idea of what happened.
Nelson said as he was working at the scene of the fire, several neighbors approached to tell him about O’Shield.
“Everyone in the neighborhood said he was a great person,” Nelson said. “A great neighbor and a great person to know.” O’Shield’s family lives outside the area, Nelson said.
About 75 percent of the house was damaged.
Seven fire trucks and 17 firefighters responded to the single-story residence and were able to extinguish the blaze in about 20 minutes.
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Thread: Panama City Fla--Fatal Fire
05-01-2005, 04:47 PM #1
Panama City Fla--Fatal Fire09-11 .. 343 "All Gave Some..Some Gave ALL" God Bless..R.I.P.
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