Woman severely burned in a domestic dispute in Fort Myers

Posted: Sep 18, 2018 4:36 PM -04:00 Updated:

Police said a woman was burned in a domestic violence dispute in Fort Myers Tuesday.

Around 3:30 p.m., law enforcement and emergency responders surrounded a home in the 2900 block of Evans Avenue. 

Suspect Terry Palmer, 39, had been arguing with the homeowner and victim Thelma Shelby when he attempted to set her house on fire, according to Shelby's daughter. She said Palmer came into the house with a jug of flammable liquid and tried to burn the house, but accidentally caught his shirt on fire. He tried to whisk the flames away and tossed the jug, which caused Shelby's clothes to catch on fire.

Palmer ran away but was later caught and taken to Lee Memorial Hospital before being arrested for first-degree arson causing bodily harm.  

Shelby has been transferred to the Tampa Hospital Burn Unit and is in critical condition.

As a result of the investigation, two northbound lanes of Evans Avenue were closed but have since reopened. 

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