Around 9:36 p.m., on Friday, July 31, St. Petersburg Police Department responded to a call concerning possible arson at a home at 5495 14th Ave. N.
Detectives say that the fire was not an accident.
Charles Nelson, 67, who lived at the address, is suspected of setting the fire using an accelerant and intentionally trapping both himself and his wife, Janet Nelson, 75, in the house.
Janet was able to call 911, but was unable to get out of the home.
Charles died before St. Petersburg Fire and Rescue could pull him from the house. Janet sustained critical injuries and passed away at the hospital on Sunday, August 2.
According to their records, police previously investigated two domestic violence incidents, in 2014 and 2019, at the residence, but no arrests were made.
The investigation is ongoing.
SPPD Public Information Officer Sandra Bentil encourages people to seek help for domestic violence: “There is plenty of help out there, plenty of resources.”
Bentil refers the majority of domestic violence victims to CASA – St. Pete. CASA offers a 24-hour domestic violence hotline: 727-895-4912 and TTY: 727-828-1269. More at casa-stpete.org/chat.