Elderly woman dies in burning home

Jacksonville Sheriff's Office: Victim found near stairs

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - An elderly woman died in a burning home in the Longbranch neighborhood of Jacksonville's Eastside early Friday morning, according to her daughter, Mildred Chambers.

IMAGES: Fire consumes two-story home

Margarine Cobb, 86, was well-known in the area, according to Chambers. She spent time volunteering at area nursing homes. She also raised eight daughters at that home but recently lived alone, Chambers said.

Jacksonville Fire-Rescue crews responded to the home on 24th and Bridier streets around 4:30 a.m.

The victim was located on the bottom floor near the stairs, and it appeared she was trying to get out of the house when she succumbed to smoke or fire, according to Jacksonville Sheriff's Office Sgt. Michael Paul.

Police said the body was badly burned and it would be up to the medical examiner to confirm the victim's identity.

"How do you handle death?" asked Chambers. "She was a very Christian lady, she taught us very well about the Lord, so it makes it, for me, a little easier to accept."

Chambers said her mother had grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She said she taught ceramics for many years and left a positive mark on not just her family, but also the community.

"My mom was a loving person, yes," Chambers said. "She lived here in Jacksonville, she's well-known in the community, and she would not let nothing stop her from helping anybody and everybody. She was just an all-around great mom."

The top floor of the home collapsed to the bottom floor. Damage to the home was listed at $40,000.

The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office sent a homicide team to investigate. The state Fire Marshal was on scene to investigate what started the blaze.

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