PENSACOLA, Fla. (WALA) - Escambia County fire officials are investigating a fire that left a Pensacola woman dead, which deputies are now calling a homicide.
When they got there, officials said they found the apartment in flames and a dead woman inside.
Joe Garrett said the fire at these apartments on Mobile Highway took away his best friend.
Garrett said he met the victim Melinda Mccormick, 31, through his fiancée nearly 2 years ago.
He said he was inside his apartment just feet away when he heard loud noises outside.
"I reached to open the door and I heard a loud explosion. It was like a bomb going off. I looked out the door and I saw Melinda's body lying on the ground," said Garrett.
Fire officials said they found McCormick on the floor of the burning apartment.
Neighbors said McCormick's body was lying on the ground outside after she was pulled from her burning home. Many say that image is still something that haunts them.
"She had blonde hair but when she was on the ground it was black. I saw blood on her head. It was awful, I just about fell out," Garrett said.
Witnesses also said they heard a commotion in the apartment just minutes before.
"They heard them arguing and slamming doors. Then they say two guys jumped in an SUV and left and the other guy ran off. The place then caught on fire,"
Now, deputies are looking at surveillance footage and hoping it can help them identify three men near the area at the time.
The Escambia County Sheriff's Office and the State Fire Marshal's Office are working on the case.
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