LAKE CITY, Fla. - A rookie Lake City police officer died early Thursday morning when a fire broke out in the home of a veteran Lake City Police Department investigator.
Police responded to a fully involved structure fire on Dante Terrace in Columbia County just before 1 a.m. Columbia County deputies said when they arrived, the home was fully engulfed with flames through the roof.
Police said the homeowner, identified as Investigator David Greear (pictured below), was able to escape from the burning house and was transported to Lake City Medical Center with minor injuries.
Once the fire was extinguished by Columbia County Fire Rescue, the body of a woman was found in the remains of the home. The victim was later identified as Lake City Police Department Officer Brandi Jackson.
Jackson, the mother of two preschool-aged children, had been with the department for two months and two weeks.
"She really, really wanted to be a police officer," Investigator Craig Strickland said. "She had everything lined up with her family in support of that, and her life and her career was just unfortunately cut short."
Investigator Greear is a 12-year veteran of the department and is one of three Lake City police officers who survived after being shot while serving a domestic violence injunction on a man in September 2011.
Investigators said Greear and Jackson were in separate parts of the house, and Greear tried to do everything he could to save Jackson, but the roof caved in on her.
The State Fire Marshal's Office, Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the Columbia County Sheriff's Office are all investigating the fire.
As investigators left the scene early Thursday afternoon, they said there was no reason to believe the fire was suspicious, but it would be up to the medical examiner to determine the cause of death.
"From all the statements and the evidence that we've seen so far, it's completely accidental," Strickland said.
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