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Couple Injured in House Fire

7/25/2002

OCOEE - A couple suffered burns early this morning after a fire erupted in the ceiling as she and her boyfriend slept, investigators with the Florida Bureau of Fire and Arson Investigations said.

Orange County Fire Rescue was called at 2:27 a.m. When firefighters arrived at the home, located at 240 12th Ave., they found it partially engulfed with flames venting from a bedroom window on the southwest side. They extinguished the fire before it completely destroyed the home. The owner of the home, Joanna Clark, sustained second-degree burns to her left arm and her boyfriend, Michael Jackson, suffered first-degree burns to his right foot, according to reports. The two were asleep when the fire started.

An investigator with the Bureau of Fire and Arson Investigations determined the fire originated in the ceiling of the bedroom where the residents were sleeping. Jackson stated he woke up to the fire in their bedroom and ran outside to the get the garden hose while Clark attempted to smother the fire with the mattress. The couple stated they had been experiencing electrical problems for the past two to three months. Their two children were not in the house at the time of the fire.

The State Fire Marshal's Office advises that at the first sign of electrical problems -- flickering or dimming lights bulbs, lights becoming brighter, or circuit breakers tripping -- it is important to seek a qualified electrician to check the problem.

The Bureau of Fire and Arson Investigations is a law enforcement branch of the Division of State Fire Marshal that assists other state and local fire and law enforcement agencies in the investigation of fires of suspicious origin. Anyone with information regarding a suspicious fire can call the Bureau of Fire & Arson Investigations at (407) 897-2892, 24 hours a day. Information may also be mailed to the Bureau of Fire and Arson Investigations, 3659 Maguire Blvd., Suite 151, Orlando, Florida, 32803. A $2,500 reward is offered for information leading to an arrest.