The Pinellas Park Police Department is investigating a deadly house fire today as a suicide.
Officers were called to the scene of an extinguished home fire on the 7600 block of 71st Avenue N. at around 7:35 this morning after a 61-year-old woman was discovered dead inside, police said. Her name is being withheld pending notification of next of kin
The death was ruled initially homicide after investigators noticed a gunshot wound to the body, police said. After investigation, however, police determined the wound was self-inflicted. They believe she set the fire before killing herself.
Police said the woman owned several cats and they were not in the house at the time of the fire. One cat was left on the doorstep of a neighbor with a note left nearby. Another note was found inside of the deceased’s vehicle.
Neither note offered any insight as to why the fire was set, police said.
Officers said two men entered the residence before the fire department arrived and tried to put out the fire. When their efforts failed, one man tried to remove the woman from the home, but he was overcome by smoke and had to abort his efforts to save himself. He was not injured.
The medical examiner will determine the cause of death. An autopsy will be done to determine the actual cause of death.