• Funeral services held for family members killed in fire

    By: Leslie Coursey


    JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Caskets were loaded into hearses. Stuffed animals and flowers were emptied from the funeral home. And family friend Ashley Waters cried over her loss.

    "I know it's a tragedy to lose anybody, let alone four, and three babies," she said.

    Last week, Sheila "Rosie" Swearingen, 53, and her three grandchildren, 10-month-old Janet Fowler, 2-year-old Rachel Fowler, and 4-year-old Richard "Bubba" Fowler were killed in a fire in Oceanway. 

    Family members believe Rachel and Bubba got hold of Swearingen's cigarette lighter.

    "They were loved and they loved everybody around them," said Waters. "They were just awesome people that did not deserve this."

    The sole survivor of the fire was a little girl, 6-year-old Hattie.  She was pulled from the flames by a teenage neighbor.  Her family is keeping her close and leaning on each other for support.

    "I'm just glad there's still goodness in the world and people can still come together in a time of need."

    The victims were buried here at Riverside Memorial Park.

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