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Two women found dead after suspicious mobile home fire in Pinellas County

Neighbors came to rescue but flames were too high
Posted: 8:55 AM, Feb 08, 2019
Updated: 2019-02-08 22:51:58Z
Largo mobile home fire

PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. — Two women were found dead after a fire destroyed a mobile home in Largo early Friday, and police say they're investigating the deaths as suspicious. “Where the bodies were located and the conditions of the bodies led us to believe it was possibly foul play,” explained Lieutenant Randy Chaney of the Largo Police Department.

Neighbor John Bates says he called 9-1-1 at 5:17 a.m. when he saw the walls caving in on the mobile home next to him at Avalon RV Resort Park.

“There was a real loud thump and the wall of the unit next to me where the ladies live collapsed and flames came shooting out,” Bates explained.

Bates, who is a retired police officer from Canada, says he immediately started banging on the door. Another neighbor, who happens to be a retired firefighter, tried using a crowbar to pry open the door and help the women inside. Yet, the flames were too intense. Bates says they were easily reaching 14 feet in the air.

“I’m a light sleeper, I heard no cars. I didn't hear anything until the walls collapsed," Bates said with a sigh.

Bates says the fire department arrived quickly to the park at 16860 Highway 19 in Largo. Firefighters doused the flames, but Bates says his neighbors were already dead.

“I don’t think she had an enemy in the world to my knowledge and I’ve lived beside her for a number of years,” Bates elaborated. "I never met her roommate."

Police have not yet released the identities of the two women

Largo police Officers say the damage from the fire is extensive which is making it more difficult to look for clues that may be connected to the case.

The State Fire Marshall arrived to the scene Friday with a fire accelerate sniffing dog.

Detectives say they do not believe neighbors should be worried for their own safety.

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