TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) - Officials have released the name of the woman who died in a weekend motel fire.
Investigator Norm Loudermilk said Randi Wallace, 31, died of smoke inhalation and suffered burns to 60 percent of her body in the early Sunday morning blaze that's being labeled accidental.
Loudermilk said Wallace had been staying in her second-story room at the Super 8 Motel, near US 41 South and Interstate 70, for about the last 10 days and had recently registered to stay another 10. He said the room was not officially in her name, rather her ex-husband's name.
Investigators are trying to figure out whether it was Wallace who generated an earlier call to police, from the motel's front desk, for assistance with an intoxicated person. Loudermilk confirmed responding officers helped a motel guest, who'd locked herself out of her room, back to where she was staying. Now, they're just trying to confirm whether it was, in fact, Ms. Wallace, whom officers had assisted.
"The police department uses a lot of discretion when they arrest people," Loudermilk said. "And if you have someone that just needs assistance back to their room, they're going to do what they can to try to serve the public and try to help folks out. I don't think their job is to come and execute an arrest automatically. If this person is the same person, we still need to know what the details of that encounter was."
Loudermilk said victim Randi Wallace was in the process of apartment hunting in Terre Haute.
Investigators are still trying to determine whether Wallace's own lit cigarette might've caused the fire as motel employees on the scene suggested.
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