Elderly woman dies in house fire
JFRD confirms one person dead; JSO, State Fire Marshal investigating
An 87-year-old woman died in a house fire just off Beach Boulevard on Saturday afternoon, according to Jacksonville Fire Rescue.
Police have identified the victim as Dorothy Culpepper.
The fire broke out about 4:30 p.m. at 3112 Forest Boulevard, off of Beach Boulevard.
"It was just exploding loud," said neighbor Debbie Burke. "Everybody was so scared and everybody was screaming because they wanted her out of there."
Burke got video on her cellphone as the home next door to her burned out of control with elderly neighbor trapped inside.
"Two of the neighbors, they broke the glass out and they went in," Burke said. "They couldn't even stay in, it was so hot in there. The door was shut, they were scared to open the door."
Burke said it wasn't long before firefighters were on the scene, trying desperately to save the woman's life.
Neighbors told Channel 4 they watched as firefighters brought Culpepper out of the house. They saw them lay her on the ground as they worked to revive her, but it was too late.
The State Fire Marshall was investigating what sparked the fire.
Neighbors said Culpepper typically kept to herself, inside her home, but that she had several grown children and at least one grandchild.
"You know, I didn't know her, I'd only seen her a few times," Burke said. "But it's still kind of a hard thing to see, a very hard thing to see."
Copyright 2013 by News4Jax.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.