Fire scene

Debra Thomas, 61, was found in her car, next to her burning home, with a self-inflicted gunshot wound. The Rockport, Fulton and Lamar volunteer fire departments responded (see story).

Pct. 2 Justice of the Peace Diana McGinnis pronounced Debra Thomas, 61, dead Wednesday, July 10. Thomas died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound outside her home at Woody Acres Trailer Park in Fulton.

Numerous 911 calls were received around 2:15 a.m. reporting an explosion in an RV, fully engulfed in flames.

When firefighters arrived they found a pop-off valve had released on a propane tank, which caused what sounded like an explosion.

After first addressing the propane tank, firefighters approached the home. While starting to battle the blaze, a body was seen in a car in the carport next to the home.

Firefighters pulled Thomas out of the car, and noticed an obvious gunshot wound to the head. As they removed her from the car, a handgun fell to the seat, according to Fulton Police Chief Rick McLester. She was taken across the street to paramedics who were already at the scene.

Thomas was taken to the helipad next to Code3ER where she was pronounced dead, prior to HALO-Flight’s arrival.

McLester said those who knew her said Thomas lost her father prior to Hurricane Harvey, and her mother shortly after the storm.

“She was here taking care of her mother,” said McLester. “She started a downward spiral after her mother’s death.”

Judge McGinnis discovered burns on Thomas’ legs when she made her pronouncement, indicating she was inside the home at some point after the fire started.

McLester said they had a difficult time finding a next of kin because none of her family lives near Aransas County.

“Word was she talked to her sister daily, and when she didn’t call, the sister called Woody Acres,” said McLester.

Volunteers from the Rockport, Fulton, and Lamar volunteer fire departments responded, and were at the scene for about an hour.

The home was completely destroyed.

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