(Update) Officials Rule Fatal Fire Outside Westminster Thrift Shop an Accident
Police have identified the 59-year-old woman who died in the fire.
A fire that killed a homeless woman outside of a thrift shop early Tuesday morning was classified as accidental by the State's Medical Examiner.
As previously reported, at approximately 1:49 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 8, fire officials responded to the one-alarm fire at the rear of The Spare Room thrift shop, 30 West Main St., where they located the remains of a body and clothing effects burning. A homeless woman involved in the fire was pronounced dead at the scene.
Deputy State Fire Marshal Bruce Bouch said in a statement that the woman who died in the fire has been identified as Paula Mae Carlisle, 59.
According to Bruce Goldfarb, spokesperson for the Maryand State Medical Examiner's Office, the cause of death was determined to be smoke inhalation and thermal injuries, or burns.
Bouch said that it is still unclear if the fire was started due to the woman trying to heat herself or trying to cook.
"We feel that there is no criminal intent or action here, still determining if it was a heating fire or cooking or just a cooking fire," Bouch said.
A nearby business caught the incident on surveillence video tape. Bouch said that investigators are working to determine if it has any actual value to the investigation.
The Fire Marshal is continuings its investigation into the cause of the fire, according to a news release.
This article was updated at 4:40 p.m. Jan. 9 with the identity of the woman killed in the fire.
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