Woman, 61, dies in Fort Caroline house fire

Neighbors describe Delores Rexford as 'sweet' woman who will be missed

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A 61-year-old woman died Friday afternoon after a fire at a home on Gilmore Heights Road, according to Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department.

Police identified the woman as Delores Rexford.

Authorities said the fire started about 3 p.m. in the Rexford's bedroom, and the blaze was confined to that room. 

Other people were home at the time. Police said witnesses tried to rescue the woman, but couldn't get inside due to heat and smoke. 

The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office investigator said no one else was hurt in the fire. Fire Rescue had initially reported that a second person was hospitalized, but police said that person declined to be transported and was treated at the scene.

Neighbor Deborah Brown told News4Jax that the person treated was the woman's companion, who could been seen outside the home with a blanket draped over him and walking with first responders. 

"I hope that he hangs in there and is able to come out of this all right and is able to keep his home and everything," Brown said. 

Brown said her neighbor was kind to everyone, and she will be dearly missed.

"It’s very sad," she said. "She was really sweet. She was just a sweet older lady and would often come over to chat about stuff and have us help her with little things.”

Franco Cafiero said he hopes his neighborhood can come together to support the woman’s family as they deal with her tragic death.

"It's very unfortunate. I'm very concerned for the family that lives there," Cafiero said. "Hopefully there's something that we can do for the survivors."

The fire marshal will investigate the cause of the fire, but police said it was not suspicious.

Early Monday morning, police investigated a shooting death during a party at a home five doors way. 

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