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Tampa Bay and Sarasota's Leading Local News: Weather, Traffic, Sports and more | Tampa Bay and Sarasota, FL | WTSP.com

Detectives: Husband 'purposely' set house fire that killed him and wife

Authorities had been dispatched to their home before.

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Editor's Note: The above video is from the day after the fire before the woman had died.

Detectives now believe a husband set the house fire that killed himself and his wife.

The St. Petersburg Police Department announced Monday that investigators have determined Charles Nelson used an accelerant to "purposely" set the fire that killed the couple around 9:30 p.m. on July 31 on 14th Avenue North.

The case is now being classified as a murder-suicide.

Janet Nelson, 75, called 911 for help, but she couldn't get out of the house. Firefighters pulled the husband and wife out. When they did, Charles was already dead. 

The fire was put out around 1 a.m. Saturday.

Janet died of her injuries on Sunday.

Police say they'd been called to the home twice – once in 2014 and later in 2019 –  for "domestic quarrels." Nobody was arrested either time.

The investigation is ongoing.

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