CUTLER BAY (CBSMiami) – Investigators are trying to determine if a 42-year-old homeless woman was set on fire.

Authorities say 42-year-old Linda Burwick was discovered near a burned-out shell of a boat and in bushes where she lived off the Busway at Southwest 214th Street and South Dixie Highway. Miami-Dade Fire Rescue units raced to the scene after reports of a brush fire.

A spokesman at Kendall Regional Medical Center said her condition had stabilized. Burwick has 3rd degree burns.

Her friends told CBS4’s Peter D’Oench that she had been homeless for at least 12 years.

“I’ve know her since she was a teenager,” said Spencer Phillips. “Things just went wrong for her. Things just went bad. You just never know.”

Terrence Evans, another friend, said, “When I saw her, she was yelling ‘help me, help’. It was incredible that’s all I saw.”

“I just saw her shaking off the fire and yelling ‘help me, help me’,” said Gennie Bieninne, who lives in Cutler Bay.

“You don’t think she was set on fire?” D’Oench asked Evans.

“I just don’t know,” said Evans. “If she was, this was a terrible thing. She was a straight person.”

“She was a good person, just trying to make it,” said Phillips.

Patricia Vaughan said, “She just went up and down South Dixie Highway, panhandling, asking people for money but she was very nice. She didn’t cause any problems for anyone.”

Because Miami-Dade Police are looking into whether Burwick was set on fire, they can use some help with this case.

Anyone who has information should call Miami-Dade Police or Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at (305) 471-TIPS (8477).

Miami-Dade Police detective Roy Rutland said there as of late Wednesday afternoon, there was no new information to release on this case.


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