Family, friends mourn four killed in mobile home fire

By Ashley Harding, General assignment reporter, aharding@wjxt.com
Published On: Jun 24 2014 09:26:15 PM EDT
Updated On: Jun 24 2014 11:36:45 PM EDT

VIDEO: The Fowler family and community grieve as they say good-bye to the three children and their grandmother after they died fatally in a mobile home fire.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -

Dozens paid tribute Tuesday night to three young children and their grandmother, who died after their Oceanway mobile home went up in flames last week.

Richard “Bubba” Fowler Jr., 4, Rachel Fowler, 2, and 10-month-old Janet (pictured right to left below) died along with 53-year-old Sheila Swearingen. Friends, family and neighbors gathered for a viewing Tuesday at the Hardage-Giddens Town & Country Funeral Home on Normandy Boulevard. Their funeral will be at Hardage-Giddens at 10 a.m. Wednesday.4 fire victims

The children's sister, 6-year-old Hattie (pictured below), was pulled from the fire by a 13-year old boy who was riding his bicycle past the mobile home.

"They didn't even get their chance to live," said Crystal Belser, who lived near the Fowler family.

She broke down as she talked about her neighbors' children.

"I played with Hattie most, and Bubba,” Belser said. “Rachel I saw a lot. (Their mother) Jennifer was so attached to all of them. I'm just heartbroken."

Outside the funeral home Tuesday, people held each other for support as they grieved with the children's parents, Richard and Jennifer Fowler. Among those to attend was Ann Dugger Hattie Fowler with the Justice Coalition.

"As a message and condolences from our organization, we want to let them know that we've been praying for them,” Dugger said. “There is a community that is grieving, a heartbroken community." 

For many at the viewing, their thoughts now are on the children's parents.

"I hope they keep going,” Belser said. “And just know that they've got three little angels watching over them. Jennifer has them high above just watching over them. Guardian angels forever just watching them."

Comments

The views expressed below are not those of News4Jax or its affiliated companies. By clicking on "Post," you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Service and your comment is in compliance with such terms. Readers, please help keep this discussion respectful and on topic by flagging comments that are offensive or inappropriate (hover over the commenter's name and you'll see the flag option appear on right side of that line). And remember, respect goes both ways: Tolerance of others' opinions is important in a free discourse. If you're easily offended by strong opinions, you might skip reading comments entirely.

blog comments powered by Disqus