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Brooksville fire victim, not positively identified

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Deputies, detectives, and forensic technicians from the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO), as well as investigators from the Florida Fire Marshal’s office, continue to investigate the cause of a suspicious fire that claimed the life of a person in Brooksville and several animals.

In the early morning hours of Jan. 20, HCSO deputies and Hernando County Fire and Emergency Services (HCFES) crews responded to a call from a neighbor who reported that a residence on Harwell Street in Brooksville was completely engulfed in flames.

At the scene, HCFES found the fire so intense that it took about 90 minutes to extinguish it.

Inside the burned-out structure, they found the remains of various deceased animals as well as those of one human being.

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According to a recently published report, those remains are of a woman who operated an animal sanctuary in Brooksville.

However, Denise Moloney, public information manager for the HCSO, said that the identity of the person found dead at the fire scene is still under investigation.

“The victim of the fire has not been positively identified,” she said.

As the probe continues, investigating agencies continue to interview anyone who may have information about the incident.

“Detectives are, and have been, speaking with family members,” Moloney said.

More information about the incident will be forthcoming as it is made available for release to the public, she said.

In the meantime, anyone who has information about the incident should call Hernando County Crime Stoppers at 1-866-990-TIPS (8477) or text **TIPS from a cell phone.

Submit tips online by visiting http://www.hernandocountycrimestoppers.com.

All Crime Stoppers tipsters are anonymous.

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