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(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.

See related coverage:

Officials Investigate Fatal Fire at Main Street Thrift Shop

simpletonsofknow January 10, 2013 at 01:15 PM
gee, long as it's a homeless person ... who cares? (i see a pattern here, worse than ever.)
Agape Ministries COGIC January 10, 2013 at 07:38 PM
I'm the pastor of Agape Ministries on E. Main Street and Paula would come to our church to sit during the service to get ou tof the cold or heat and ask for something to eat. She last came to the church two Sundays ago. We will keep her family in prayer. If any one knows from whom to get additonal information about funeral arrangments, please contact us.
Enid Levy January 10, 2013 at 09:04 PM
What a heartless, thoughtless, uncaring, crass, vile thing to say about a human being. You just better hope and pray that *you* are never homeless or need help sometime. Your "user name" of simpleton describes you completely.
Gabrielle Donnald January 11, 2013 at 12:04 AM
Enid, I think Simpletonsofknow was being sarcastic and was saying that because the victim was homeless, the investigation quickly concluded that it was an accident and that's the end of it. I think Simpleton meant the exact opposite of what you read into it, that we SHOULD care about the victim!
L Collette January 11, 2013 at 03:33 AM
I find it sad that with all these highly paid professional athletes, actors, musicians, CEOs, and so on that we can have homeless people that have to suffer like this. Perhaps I am naive.

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