Woman dies in Manatee house fire

MANATEE — A 54-year-old woman was killed in a house fire just after midnight today, according to the Manatee County Sheriff's Office. Investigators believe the blaze was started by an electrical heater.

Firefighters saw the woman's body in a rear bedroom as flames forced them out of the house at 605 36th St. W.

A 53-year-old man, who suffered burns and smoke inhalation, and his 15-year-old daughter escaped the fire. The girl was not hurt, according to the sheriff's office.

The woman was reportedly the man's girlfriend, but the sheriff's office said there was some confusion about her name.

State and local fire officials, as well as the sheriff's office, are investigating the fire. But early indications are that the fire started in one of the two electrical heaters in the house.

West Manatee Fire & Rescue responded to the fire at 12:23 a.m.