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Woman killed in fire 'loved to fish ... loved everyone'

Nieces of 64-year-old woman who died Monday worry about paying for funeral

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A family is struggling with the tragic death of a 64-year-old Northside woman who died in a fire that also put the woman’s brother in the hospital.

The fire broke out Monday morning in a home on Bayview Avenue just off the Trout River. Diane Collins was killed. Her brother, Billy Woodward, was injured but will survive.

Collins’ family is devastated by the loss. Three days later, they said they have yet to see her body as the investigation into the cause of the fire continues.

"She loved to fish, she loved everyone. She would give you the shirt off her back," Collins' niece, Christina Defulvio, said. "She was the type of person that would make sure she took care of everyone before she even took care of herself."

Collins' two nieces live in Georgia. They were planning a trip to Jacksonville after going to a relative's graduation in a different part of Florida.

"If I’d have come here (first), I’d have been in the house with her. I don’t know if I would have saved her, but I’d have died trying," said Tonya Brewer, the second niece.

Collins' family said she lost her husband in the past few years and was still working to pay off funeral expenses for him. Her death has financially hit them hard and they're not sure how they'll pay for funeral expense.


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