More than a dozen people stood in front of a packed congregation at Grace Christian Center in Killeen on Thursday morning and shared memories of the three women killed in a tragic fire Jan. 24 in Nolanville.
Skylar Hines-Little, 19, Denise Hines, 46, and Sherry Hines, 84, all died in a fire at a home in the 400 block of North Fourth Street, after electrical issues in the garage sparked the blaze.
Sherry Hines is Denise Hines’ mother and Skylar Hines-Little’s grandmother. A 16-year-old boy was in school at the time of the fire, and is the lone surviving resident of the home.
At Thursday’s service, congregation members recalled the three women who lost their lives in the blaze.
Sherry Hines, born Gesina in Haren, Denmark, was married to her husband Marvin for 50 years before he died in 2012. Sherry Hines loved to watch political shows on television, work in her garden and be around family members on holidays. She loved garage sales so much that she was dubbed the “garage sale queen” and operated a daycare center out of her home for more than 40 years.
“If all the children who were partially raised by her were counted, they’d be in the thousands,” Pastor Eric Deal said in his opening prayer Thursday.
Skylar was a student trainer for four years of high school, and was named the most dependable trainer her junior year. As a senior, she was named head athletic trainer. She was described as a hard worker, who could be seen volunteering at sporting events even after she graduated.
Those who spoke in attendance said that any sporting event Denise Hines’ kids were at, she could be found there as well. She was a talented cook and an avid church-goer.
There are four services per weekend at Vintage Church in Harker Heights, and Skylar and Denise could often be seen at all of them.
Burial followed the funeral service at Pleasant Hill Cemetery in Nolanville.
More than $23,600 has been raised to assist the family of the three women.
“This unexpected tragedy could’ve happened to any one of us. I am asking now that friends, relatives, classmates, total strangers come together and give to relieve some of the financial burden placed on (family members),” Lynn Milam, creator of the GoFundMe page, said. “I ask for prayers for the family at this most sorrowful time.”
As of noon Thursday, the account was within $1,400 of its $25,000 goal.
Hines-Little was a student athletic trainer at Harker Heights High School, and planned to attend Temple College to study nursing, according to her obituary.
Denise Hines was an active member of the Harker Heights High School Athletic Booster Club, and Sherry Hines owned and operated a child care center for more than 40 years.
Meanwhile, a GoFundMe page for the surviving family of the three young girls who died in a blaze in the 3000 block of Jason Cove in southwest Killeen last Friday raised more than $19,600 in five days. The page, started by the girls’ great-uncle Michael Head has a $25,000 goal.
“The goal of this campaign is to raise money to assist with the... service for the girls and to assist with helping the adults who were displaced jumpstart their lives again,” he wrote on the page. “The home was burned beyond repair and unfortunately didn’t have insurance ... a total loss.”
The girls who died have been identified as Chastity Armstrong, 6, Khalia Armstrong, 5, and Tristan-Sarah Blakes, 3.
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