St. Petersburg Police Press Release

Chief of Police
1301 First Avenue North
St. Petersburg, FL 33705

(727) 893-7550


For Immediate Release
Report number: 2020-027520
Date of original release: 08-01-20

Murder-Suicide Investigation

Update on 08-03-20 at 10:40 a.m.

The case involving a house fire that claimed the lives of husband and wife, Charles and Janet Nelson on Friday evening is now a murder/suicide investigation.

Detectives say Charles Nelson used an accelerant to purposely set the house on fire. Janet Nelson called 911 for help, but was unable to get out of the home. St. Pete Fire and Rescue pulled both out of home, but Charles was already deceased. Janet succumbed to her injuries on Sunday.

Police have been called to the home twice, once in 2014 and again in 2019 for domestic quarrels, but no one was arrested. The investigation into the both deaths is ongoing.

Update on 08-02-20 at 9:58 p.m.

Unfortunately, Janet Nelson (DOB 09/06/1944), the woman who was injured in the fire at 5495 14th Ave N on Friday evening, has died.

At this time the investigation into the cause of the house fire is ongoing.

Update on 08-02-20 at 1:21 p.m.

The man who died in the fire at 5495 14th Ave N on July 31, 2020 has been identified as Charles Nelson (DOB 10/21/52).

His wife, Janet Nelson, remains in critical, but stable condition.

The investigation into the circumstances that led to the fire is still underway.

Released on 08-01-20 at 1:08 a.m.

Around 9:36pm, on July 31, 2020 SPPD got a call concerning a possible arson in the 5400 block of 14th Ave N.

St. Pete Fire & Rescue pulled two people from the home. A man died and a woman was transported to the hospital in critical condition.

The fire was just put out, so the investigation is at its early stages.

At this time detectives have not been able to identify the victim or notify next of kin, and the injured woman’s condition was critical at last check.

No updates are expected tonight, but more information will be released when it becomes available.

St. Petersburg Police Media Relations - (727) 893-7550
YOLANDA FERNANDEZ - Public Information Officer