Lt. Howard Coombs
Public Information Officer


Man Found Dead in Commercial Business Fire

At 11:03  this morning, firefighters and paramedics from  St. Petersburg responded to a 911 call indicating that the business on 5060 15 Avenue South, Chuck's Auto Body and Detail Shop was on fire, and there was possibly and explosion.  As fire teams worked to supress the fire and clear the area, they found a male down on the ground. Paramedics announced the person dead at the scene. The male was identified as Charles Lee Holloman. Charles was the owner of the business. Reports of an explosion have become non-evident through further investigation.

Holloman(66) was alone at the time. When he was found, there was evidence that a fire had been started, and their seemed to be an apparent injury on Mr. Holloman. The injury was on the side of his head. This injury is consistent with a projectile, such as a round from a firearm.   At this time, it is not known if he caused the fire, or if it was an accident. A firearm was found at the scene, in proximity of the body.

Due to the many elements of this case, several agencies have been notified to handle the suspicion of arson, and the cause of death of  Charles Holloman. Investigators from the Gulfport Fire Department, U.S. Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, and Florida State Fire Marshal's Office,are working to determine how the fire may have started. The Pinellas County Sheriff's Office, the Medical Examiner's Office,  and the Gulfport Police Department are trying to determine the if the wound is from a firearm, and if it was self-inflicted. An autotopsy will be performed in the next couple of days and the results will be available in six to eight weeks.