Woman fatally burned at bar she owns; patrons doused flames

AP News
|
Posted: Nov 06, 2015 6:24 PM
Woman fatally burned at bar she owns;  patrons doused flames

RAWLINS, Wyo. (AP) — Police on Friday were investigating the death of a woman from burns she suffered while working at the bar she owned in Wyoming.

Police refused to say whether foul play had been ruled out in the death of 47-year-old Denise King Martinez at County 6 Bar.

Rawlins Police Chief Troy Palmer also declined to say if an accelerant was involved in the blaze early Tuesday that was doused by patrons at the bar.

He noted, however, that no arrests had been made.

"Once we've got a clear picture of what happened, we're going to release more information," he said.

Palmer has told the Rawlins Daily Times (http://bit.ly/1LVekS7 ) that there was no reason for residents to believe there was any threat to the community of 9,300 people about 130 miles west of Cheyenne.

Palmer said there were six patrons in the bar when the fire started.

Palmer said Friday his agency is treating the case as a criminal investigation.

"Any case that somebody dies, it's a homicide until proven otherwise," he said.

Carbon County Coroner Paul Zamora said an autopsy determined Martinez died of thermal injuries. He said his office wouldn't release further autopsy results until the investigation into her death was complete.

The newspaper reported that Diane Safford, a cousin of Martinez, said the family had no comment beyond their appreciation for the community's thoughts.

"The family would like to thank everyone for their outpouring of love and support and please let us be during our time of tragedy," she said.