PALATKA, Fla. – Three people were found dead Monday in a Palatka home after a fire, according to the Palatka Police Department.
A police officer was the first responder to arrive at the home on Washington Street near 11th Street around 5:30 a.m. Shortly after, fire units arrived at the home to find it fully engulfed in flames.
Crews worked to put out the flames, and when they went inside, they found two men and a woman dead. Family members of the deceased people were contacted.
Police said the house is unoccupied, and the three people who died were not supposed to be living in the vacant home.
According to police, the people were all in separate rooms, and the fire did not start in the rooms they were occupying.
A neighbor told News4JAX he couldn’t believe this happened and that he knew two of the victims and feels for their families.
“I’m sorry for their loss. I know him real good. God, it’s sad, man. Just sad,” Oliver Johnson said. “I was born and raised in Palatka. I know them personally,” Johnson said.
Johnson said he’s complained to police about people going into the home and wishes something would have been done so what happened Monday could have been avoided.
The fire was ruled accidental, police said.
Palatka police and the state fire marshal are still investigating and reviewing evidence.