The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office is investigating a house fire at a Citrus Park home on Saturday.
According to witnesses, the fire started inside the garage of the home at 6603 Timber Crook Court at approximately 3 p.m.
"We're out here playing basketball. We heard the garage door open across the street and saw that the car had a sheet on it. It looked like a sheet or a blanket that was engulfed in flames," said Jason Johnson.
Johnson said he rushed into the garage to remove the blanket and saw a woman and a girl inside the car. They have been identified as Nancy Lowe, 52, and Allison Clark, 12.
"She was trying to keep the daughter in the car with the car on fire," Johnson said.
Johnson rushed out when the flames got too hot, and then the car apparently exploded. But somehow, both mother and daughter made it out of the garage and came onto the front lawn.
"We pick her up and bring her to the street and she's trying to get back up, get back in the house. She says she wants to die," he said.
Fire rescue arrived on the scene a short time later and took the women to Tampa General Hospital to be treated for minor smoke inhalation.
Late Saturday evening, the Hillsborough County fire marshall remained on the scene, trying to figure out how the fire started, while Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office detectives waited for a search warrant to search the rest of the residence.
Deputies located several suicide notes in the home of Nancy Lowe, who has been Baker Acted along with her daughter, the sheriff's office reports.
Investigatorssay they discovered Lowe had been beaten several times by her ex-husband, James Clark,at her home Thursday night, and that he used his hands and a lamp. He has been charged with Aggravated Battery and Domestic Violence.