for immediate release
February 8, 2004

N E W S   R E L E A S E

The Okaloosa County Sheriff's Office and the State Fire Marshal's Office are investigating a fatal automobile fire early this morning (Sunday morning) in the Florosa area of southwest Okaloosa County.

The victim was discovered after firefighters extinguished a blaze that destroyed a 2001 Kia Sephia in the driveway of 423-D Little John Road, Mary Esther. That address is the residence of Sandra J. Christensen, age 41 (5-31-1962), who is also the registered owner of the vehicle. Dental records will be used to attempt positive identification of the victim during an autopsy, scheduled for Monday.

The body was discovered in the driver's seat of the vehicle. Investigation has not produced any indications of foul play. It is believed the driver may have fallen asleep after parking in the driveway; a dropped cigarette may have started the fire. Neighbors noticed the flames and called for assistance a few minutes before 5:00 o'clock Sunday morning. The vehicle was reported fully involved in flame when the first firefighters arrived.

The fire spread to and also destroyed a second vehicle in the same driveway.

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for more information contact Sgt. Rick Hord, Public Information Officer

(850) 651-7420

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