Victim still not identified in East Naples duplex fire

East Naples duplex fire

Raw video of the damage

The victim in Thursday’s fatal East Naples duplex fire has still not been “positively” identified, according to a Collier County Sheriff’s spokeswoman.

Responders found one body in the duplex at 3197 Gordon Street after Thursday night’s fire. As of Monday afternoon, department spokeswoman Michelle Batten said the Sheriff’s Office could not offer the identity of the victim.

“Every investigation is different,” Batten said, when asked if it’s normal for an identification to take days. “We just haven’t been able to make one yet.”

The names of survivors were released, however, in a department incident report.

According the report, Kevin McGarty was a resident of the duplex where the deadly fire occurred. Witnesses said that before deputies arrived, McGarty tried to enter the house and put out flames with a hose.

Bobbi Jo Thomas lived in the duplex’s eastern unit. According to the report, Thomas was sleeping when the fire broke up. A neighbor woke her up in time to escape, but two of her cats died as a result of the fire.

While the Collier Sheriff’s Office is investigating the victim’s death, the State Fire Marshall's Office is seeking to determine the cause of the fire.

Batten said the deputies are treating this as a death investigation, not as a criminal one at this time.

State Fire Marshall officials have not disclosed the cause of the fire.

Lt. Joe Minervini said those results should be released soon.

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