Police investigating fatal fire in Fort Lauderdale condo as possible homicide

A homicide investigation is underway after a 93-year-old man died in a fire in early December.

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – A homicide investigation is underway after a 93-year-old man died in a fire in early December.

The fire was reported around 1 a.m. on Dec. 3 at the Ocean Summit condominium building located at 4010 Galt Ocean Drive in Fort Lauderdale.

Fort Lauderdale police identified the victim as Howard Perkins. His partner was able to make it out of the unit and was taken to a nearby hospital.

Fire investigators said the flames appeared to have started in the living room of an apartment on the 9th floor, where Perkins lived and was found unresponsive.

Court documents obtained by Local 10 News show the fire is being investigated as a possible murder, and that detectives removed several items from the two-story apartment. Some items include butane fuel, a smoke alarm, an “unknown liquid,” a side table, and a knife with a clear handle.

The medical examiner’s office did not reveal the manner or cause of Perkins’ death, citing the ongoing criminal investigation.

Detective Ali Adamson, a spokesperson with the Fort Lauderdale Police department, said investigators are working closely with the Fort Lauderdale Fire department.

“Due to the fact that a person died during the fire, detectives are investigating the case to determine the cause and origin of the fire,” Adamson wrote in an email. “Normal legal process, to include the execution of search warrants, is a part of the investigative process involved.”

Attempts to locate family of Howard Perkins were unsuccessful.

A security guard at the Ocean Summit condominium said he occasionally saw him in the front lobby, using a walker.

Adamson said no suspects have been identified, and detectives are not currently seeking the public’s help in the investigation.

About the Author:

Janine Stanwood joined Local 10 News in February 2004 as an assignment editor. She is now a general assignment reporter. Before moving to South Florida from her Washington home, Janine was the senior legislative correspondent for a United States senator on Capitol Hill.