Elderly couple dies in Polk County house fire

Death investigation underway

POLK COUNTY, Fla. – An elderly couple died after their home caught on fire Tuesday night, according to Polk County authorities.

Fire Rescue officials said the fire started at 11:59 p.m. outside the home on Willis Road in Mulberry and then spread to the brick residence.

Fire fighters were unable to enter through the front door so they got inside through the windows. Once inside, first responders were met with extreme heat and zero visibility but were still able to extricate the man and woman who were inside.

The couple, identified by deputies as 86-year-old Carl Caldwell and 80-year-old Denise Caldwell, were taken to Bartow Regional Medical Center, where they died.

The State Fire Marshal’s Office is investigating the cause of the fire.