Fort Pierce burn victim dies in Tampa

February 5, 2001

Special to the Press Journal

A 50-year-old doctor who was badly burned in a Fort Pierce apartment fire on Jan. 22 died in the Tampa General Hospital burn unit Saturday afternoon, according to fire officials.

Annelle Blanchard, an obstetrician for Trinity Medical Center, Fort Piece, suffered second- and third-degree burns over 75 percent of her body in the blaze. Her one-room apartment, in a building on the corner of Second Street and Seaway Drive, was destroyed.

St. Lucie County Fire District spokesman Capt. Buddy Emerson said Blanchard died from the injuries sustained in the fire. The Hillsborough County Medical Examiner's Office has not made a final determination on whether Blanchard's death was accidental or a homicide.

"We have to tell the medical examiner's office what the cause of the fire was before he can make a final decision," Emerson said. "We hope to wrap this up by the end of this week."