Published: May 04, 2011 4:34 AM EDT
Updated: May 03, 2011 6:20 PM EDT

COLLIER COUNTY, Fla.- The Collier County Sheriff's Office has launched an investigation into the death of a woman at the scene of a house fire in North Naples.

Officials said 71 year-old Barbara Bonny died in the fire. The North Naples Fire Department received a call regarding a fire at 804 98th Avenue in Naples Park shortly before 3 p.m.

"It looked like pictures of the Twin Towers, it was a wall of smoke," Ariel Loki said.

The flames spread quickly, making it impossible for firefighters to get inside. "It was very involved, heavy fire load, heavy combustible load," North Naples Fire and Rescue Deputy Chief Sal D'Angelo said.

"When they hit the glass and everything, the smoke all came out," Amanda Schank said.

Firefighters discovered Barbara Bonny's body in a bathroom, in the rear of the home - the area where investigators believe the fire sparked. A cat also died in the blaze. Those who knew her tell us Bonny was a kind, friendly person.

"She was nice," next-door neighbor Brion Bolyea said. "She would invite me over. I would swim in her pool."

Roseanne Zimmerman, one of Bonny's closest friends, stopped by to honor her life with a yellow rose of friendship. "She had many health issues, but God bless her, she was the most wonderful friend I've ever had and I just feel sorry I wasn't here to help her. Maybe she wouldn't have had this tragedy."

Zimmerman says Bonny worked at the Ritz-Carlton for many years, and was a social, church-going woman.

"She was a lovely, lovely, beautiful person," Zimmerman said. "It's a major loss."

While the cause is still a mystery, samples taken by the State Fire Marshall from inside the home should bring investigators some answers.


The North Naples Fire Department says they received a call regarding a fire at 804 98th Avenue in Naples Park shortly before 3 p.m.
When the department arrived at the house, it was fully engulfed.