Florence police identify homeowner, deceased in fatal house fire

Florence police identify homeowner, deceased in fatal house fire

FLORENCE, AL (WAFF) - Florence Police and Fire responded to a house fire at 123 Whipserwood Trail around 6:45 a.m. Sunday.

They arrived at the scene to find the home fully engulfed in flames. The homeowner and her children escaped the blaze and fled to a neighbor's house.

The homeowner, who has been identified as Trisha Henry, told police that her former boss, John Kalama, came to her residence and started the fire.

After Henry led her children to safety, she told police that Kalama attempted to assault her, at which point she fled to her bedroom.

According to Henry, Kalama followed her and shortly after shots were fired. Henry then exited the home and didn't return. She was unsure if Kalama escaped.

When the Florence Fire Department extinguished the fire, officials discovered Kalama deceased inside the residence.

The cause of death has not yet been determined.

Kalama's body has been released to the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences in Huntsville, where an autopsy will be performed.

Henry and her children are staying with family as authorities continue to investigate.

In addition to the Florence Police Department, the Florence Fire Department and the State Fire Marshall are conducting respective investigations.

The residence appears to be a total loss.

If you, or anyone you know, has any information that can assist with this investigation, please contact Detective Troy Gurley at (256) 768-2764 or text a tip to 274637 using keyword "FPDTIP", plus the message.

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