Polk Co. commissioners considering $200K settlement with family of woman who died in fire

Polk County

BARTOW, Fla. (WFLA) – Polk County commissioners will consider a $200,000 settlement with the family of Lorretta Pickard at their board meeting next week, according to the meeting agenda.

Pickard, 76, died in her burning Lakeland home in November 2018.

An 8 On Your Side investigation uncovered that Polk County Fire Rescue responders never made entry into her home. Pickard remained on the phone with a 911 dispatcher for 12 minutes.

Captain James Williams resigned in March after violating policy for video he shared on social media from the deadly fire in November. Williams was under investigation for allegedly lying under oath about taking previous videos at fire scenes.

Chief Tony Stravino announced his retirement in May.

Pickard’s family announced their intent to sue the county in April.

Both the family and the county declined to comment on the settlement as litigation is pending.

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