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Investigation continues into Huntsville fire that killed one woman

Police say Jennifer Hollis was killed when the fire broke out on Stevens Avenue.
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The investigation continues into what started the fire that killed a woman Thursday night in Huntsville.

Neighbors and friends describe a frenzy of people at the scene on Stevens Avenue in Five Points. Police say 911 calls came in from all over the neighborhood, including from 49-year old Jennifer Hollis who owned the home and was killed.

“We seen the flames coming out the roof right off the bat,” said Matthew Wages who lives nearby. “By the time we had made it up here just from the trailer park over here the smoke was already in the bottom and just rolling out everywhere. We were one of the first ones here, were banging on windows trying to get people to wake up.”

Police say the fire is not being investigated as suspicious. Hollis’ body was found when the flames were put out.

“She was the type of person that you needed somewhere to lay your head down at night, her door was open,” said Hollis’ friend Jessica Cummings.

“She had a big heart,” said Jasper Morris, a pastor at the church across the street from Morris’ house. “I mean she really had a big heart of giving. She helped homeless people. She had so many people she would just let live with her for weeks with no rent.”

Morris says Hollis helped people by giving them a place to stay when she herself couldn’t afford to keep the lights on.

“That spoke to me,” he said. “That spoke to the core of who she was. Even though she had ways that people didn’t agree with, that still spoke to me. She still was trying to help people even though she didn’t have lights.”

Cummings says her kids called Hollis “Aunt Jennifer.”

“She’s just been there for me,” Cummings said. “She’s been somebody that I could talk to. I could cry on her shoulder, sleep on her couch, laugh with, cry with, just the type of friend I think anybody wants.”

Police are unsure if there were other people in the house when it caught fire.

Cummings says she knew something wasn’t right when she couldn’t find her friend and her house was on fire. WZDX News was told Hollis’ father passed away just a few days before.