Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Woman, 53, dies from burns suffered in fire at vacant St. Petersburg house

ST. PETERSBURG — Two days after suffering severe burns in a fire that engulfed a vacant home early Sunday, Natalie L. Rogers died at Bayfront Medical Center.

She was 53.

The death has been classified as suspicious pending an autopsy, police said.

It's still not clear how the fire started. An investigation remained under way Tuesday.

Rogers, who was charged with first-degree arson in 1995, had been living on the streets on and off for several years, said Jane Walker of Daystar Life Center. She had a history of mental illness, Walker said.

Police say firefighters found Rogers inside a vacant house at 911½ Ninth Ave. S with burns to 15 percent of her body about 5 a.m. Sunday.

There did not appear to be any trauma to her body indicating an attack before the blaze.

Walker said Rogers did not smoke or drink alcohol.

She didn't always take her medications regularly, but she wasn't prone to violence or self-harm, Walker said.

"She always had a new best friend," Walker said. "People took advantage of her a lot because of her condition, because she was so trusting. But that was just Natalie."

In 1995, Rogers was arrested after allegedly setting afire the bed in her room at the Mari-Jean assisted living community, at Central Avenue and 24th Street N. The room was occupied by other residents at the time of the incident, according to a police report.

She was later ruled mentally unfit to stand trial for the charge.

Rogers, who had her mail delivered to Daystar, hadn't been to the facility to pick it up in several weeks, Walker said.

"We were worried about her," she said. "I always knew she would die on the street somehow. I just didn't know it'd be like this."

Marissa Lang can be reached at or (813) 226-3386.

Woman, 53, dies from burns suffered in fire at vacant St. Petersburg house 05/22/12 [Last modified: Tuesday, May 22, 2012 9:43pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. St. Petersburg's ballooning sewage debt could threaten credit rating (but there's a Hail Mary plan to avoid that)

    Local Government

    ST. PETERSBURG — The city needs a lot of money — $435 million over the next five years — most of it to fix its leaky sewer pipes and aging sewer plants.

    In September 2016, signs at St. Petersburg's North Shore Park warned people to stay out of the water due to contamination from sewage released by the city's overwhelmed sewer system. The City Council on Thursday learned that the very expensive fix for its sewage woes could hamper the city's credit rating. [LARA CERRI   |   Times]
  2. Pinellas County receives $30 million for beach renourishment

    Local Government

    CLEARWATER –– While Pinellas beaches continually rank among the best in America, they need help to stay that way.

    The Army Corps of Engineers has allocated $30 million to help with beach renourishment at several Pinellas locations, including including Sand Key, Treasure Island and Upham Beach. This photo from 2014 shows how waves from high tides caused beach erosion at Sunset Beach near Mansions by the Sea condominium complex SCOTT KEELER   |   Times

  3. Straz Center parking squeeze infuriates patrons, motivates search for solutions


    TAMPA — When the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts opened 30 years ago, it welcomed just 30,000 patrons its first year.

    Fireworks shoot into the sky over the David A. Straz Jr. Center For The Performing Arts. [SCOTT MCINTYRE, Times]
  4. Video shows naked man who stole swan sculpture in Lakeland, deputies say


    The Polk County Sheriff's Office is searching for a large swan sculpture that was stolen from a Lakeland cold storage facility last weekend, possibly by a naked man.

    The Polk County Sheriff's Office says this naked man stole a large black and white swan sculpture, upper right, from a Lakeland storage facility last weekend. Surveillance video showed the man walking into Lakeland Cold Storage. [Polk County Sheriff's Office]
  5. Fennelly: Dirk Koetter's apology no way to keep this fidget spinning


    TAMPA — It all began with a fidget spinner.

    This tweet from the Bucs, mocking the Falcons' 28-3 lead they lost in the Super Bowl against the Falcons, prompted a public apology from head coach Dirk Koetter, who called it "unprofessional and not smart."