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One Person Confirmed Dead In Structure Fire Near Winter Lake Road

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Update January 12 – 9:30 am – At approximately 10:58 am, on Wednesday, January 11, 2017, Polk County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to the Timberline Road residence to assist Polk County Fire Rescue with a residential fire in which a victim had been located deceased inside.

The decedent has been identified as 67-year-old Donald Merkley – 3353 Timberline Road, West.

The State Fire Marshal’s Office determined the fire originated in the living room of the residence – the source, a small electric heater. According to the Fire Marshal Investigators, a recliner chair located close to the heater caught fire which then spread throughout the home.

The death does not appear suspicious in nature; however, an autopsy will be conducted to determine the cause and manner of death.

Winter Haven, Florida – Polk County Fire Rescue is currently on scene of a residential structure fire. According to Polk County Fire Rescue spokesperson, Kevin Walter, one person has been killed in a structure fire on Timberline Rd. off of Winter Lake Rd. The fire appears to have started after 11am.

We will update this article as more information is released.

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