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Pasco woman, 80, dies in house fire

Neighbors are saddened by the death of the widow, who was an avid doll collector.

REBECCA CATALANELLO
Published November 30, 2003

NEW PORT RICHEY - An 80-year-old woman died Saturday morning in a fire at her home, officials said.

Property records and neighbors indicated the owner of the home was Dorothy "Dottie" Ohl, 80, an avid doll collector who neighbors said lived alone at 6930 Oldgate Circle.

Next-door neighbor Tom Dusch said he called 911 shortly after 6 a.m. He had smelled smoke while letting his Dalmatian outside.

Dusch said he went around to the front of the Ohl house, banged on the door and felt nothing but heat.

"It's saddening. You don't like to see anything go that way," Dusch said. He said he never heard any voice from inside.

The fire was under control by 6:49 a.m., said Pasco County Fire Marshal Larry Whitten. The body was found in the living room, he said.

The cause was still under investigation Saturday. Whitten said there was no reason to suspect foul play.

Neighbors were saddened by the death.

"I'm very sorry it happened to Dottie," said Lauren Carr, who invited Ohl and her husband for dinner the first night the couple moved into the neighborhood in 1982. "It shouldn't happen to anyone."

That husband and another who later shared the home died, neighbors said.

A collector's doll the size of a small child looked out over the back yard, its face singed and wet.

Dusch and Carr both remarked about the hundreds of dolls that Ohl collected. They lined floors, chairs, walls and the bed, they said.

Whitten said responding to a fatal fire always takes a toll.

"We hate to see anyone have a fire, let alone a holiday death," he said. "It definitely affects us all."

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