Victim in house fire Wednesday west of Daytona Beach identified as 54-year-old Lynda J. Thomas; autopsy reveals death due to smoke inhalation

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DAYTONA BEACH -- The woman found dead Wednesday n the charred home destroyed by fire in the Daytona Highridge Estates subdivision just west of Daytona Beach has been identified as the homeowner, 54-year-old Lynda J. Thomas, a Volusia County Sheriff's spokesman said.

"Pursuant to an autopsy conducted today by the Volusia County Medical Examiner’s Office, the death has been preliminarily ruled as accidental, due to smoke inhalation," Sheriff's spokesman Gary Davidson said. "The final ruling on the death is pending the results of toxicology tests."

The noon-time fire at 1461 was initially reported through 9-1-1 calls by neighbors who spotted smoke coming from the windows of the home and then flames, which were attacked for 19 minutes before firefighters entered and found the body.

Thomas was pronounced dead on the scene at 12:24 p.m.

The cause of the fire is under investigation by the State Fire Marshal's Office.

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Henry Frederick is publisher of Headline Surfer®, the award-winning 24/7 internet news outlet covering the Daytona Beach-Sanford-Orlando metro area via HeadlineSurfer.com since 2008. A longtime cops & courts reporter focused on breaking news & investigative reporting, Frederick is among the Sunshine State's most prolific daily news reporters, having amassed close to a hundred award-winning byline stories nearly evenly split in print and digital platforms. Frederick earned his Master of Arts in New Media Journalism with academic honors from Full Sail University in Winter Park in February 2019. He was a metro reporter with the Daytona Beach News-Journal for nearly a decade and then served as a city editor for the Taunton Daily Gazette in Taunton, Mass, while maintaining a residence in Central Florida. Prior to moving to Florida, Frederick was a metro reporter for the Rockland Journal-News in West Nyack, NY, for seven years. Headline Surfer was named the Sunshine State's top internet news site by the Florida Press Club in 2018.