The preliminary investigation reveals nothing of a suspicious nature at this time and both occupants were asleep in different areas of the residence at the start of the fire on SW Dante Terrace. Officer Greear was awakened by the fire and initially made efforts to extinguish the fire which were unsuccessful. He then attempted to get Officer Jackson from the rear of the residence where she was still asleep. As the two attempted to exit through the heavy smoke Officer Jackson became disoriented and they separated. Officer Greear was able to make it to the outside of the home while Officer Jackson, being unfamiliar with the residence, was still inside.
When Officer Greear exited the house, he immediately went to a neighbor’s residence and summoned help. He, along with a neighbor, attempted to reenter the structure but was unsuccessful due to the house being fully engulfed in flames.
After extinguishing the fire, the Columbia County Fire Department located Officer Jackson deceased in the residence. At this time, this appears to be nothing more than a tragic accident. The investigation is continuing with the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office coordinating with the State Fire Marshall, State Attorney’s Office and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to both families during this difficult time of great loss.