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Woman critically injured in suspicious apartment fire

JSO: Fire intentionally set

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A woman in her 40's is in critical condition at the Burn Unit of UF Health Hospital Gainesville after a suspicious apartment fire on Jacksonville's Westside. 

The fire, which happened at the Oaks at Normandy Apartments around 2:30 a.m. on Thursday, is believed to be arson. 

Flame damage could be seen from outside the door of room 1023. A charred poinsettia plant was on the doorstep.

Jacksonville Sheriff's Office detectives believe the crime is linked to domestic issues, telling News4Jax that officers had been called to the apartment for disturbances before.

"Just being able to look at the scene and do our investigation, we can determine that it was definitely not an accident and we are continuing the investigation," JSO Sgt. Michael Paul said. "We do have a suspect out there, we just don't know who that suspect is right now."

The woman and her daughter are the only known residents.  Her daughter was not home at the time, but is being interviewed by officers for information. 

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The apartment complex's manager, who asked not to be named, was there as rescuers pulled the woman out. She noticed visible injuries on the woman's body, but said she was conscious. She said on Tuesday, an apparent ex-boyfriend tried to kick down the woman's door twice. She said JSO responded to the incidents.

"Right now all we know is it is an isolated incident," the manager said. "It has nothing to do with any type of robbery or any other resident. This is a domestic between the person who lives here and whoever they are involved with as far as relationship or ex-relationship."

The woman was first taken to UF Health Jacksonville, but then transported to UF Health Gainesville for burn treatment. 

The manager said no other units were damaged and all other residents were back in their homes.

"Everyone is safe and trying to enjoy the rest of their Christmas," she said.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 866-845-TIPS.