Tragic Loss: Police and firefighters search the grounds of Grace Cross’ house on Scott’s Hill Road, Somerset, looking for clues to the fire that took her life yesterday. Foul play has not been ruled out. *Photo by Meredith Ebbin
Tragic Loss: Police and firefighters search the grounds of Grace Cross’ house on Scott’s Hill Road, Somerset, looking for clues to the fire that took her life yesterday. Foul play has not been ruled out. *Photo by Meredith Ebbin
An 87-year-old Somerset woman who walked with the assistance of a cane died yesterday morning after a fire broke out at her two-storey home.
The death of Grace Cross, a widowed mother of three adult sons, occurred on Scott's Hill Road in Sandys Parish when she became trapped in her laundry room.
The cause of the fire is under investigation and foul play has not yet been ruled out, police spokesman Dwayne Caines said yesterday.
Her son Burnell is believed to have been the one who raised the alarm at around 10am. He sought help from workers at a construction site across the street to remove the shutters in a desperate attempt to save his mother, but to no avail, sources told the Bermuda Sun yesterday.
Mrs. Cross lived with her son Erroll, who worked at the Mid-Atlantic Wellness Institute.
'A beautiful woman'
Fire Services Division officer Morris White said the fire started in the living room and Mrs. Cross was discovered in the laundry room adjacent to the kitchen.
Firefighters performed CPR, but she died later in hospital.
News of the tragic death of Mrs. Cross - who was well-known in Somerset - raced through the west end.
Some who knew her well, among them Government MP Walter Lister, gathered outside her house.
Mr. Lister said he had known Mrs. Cross for many years and last saw her two weeks ago at Allen Temple AME Church, where both were members.
"This is a tragic loss for the community," he said. Lawyer Larry Scott, who was also at the scene, said: "I've known her all my life. She taught me in Sunday school."
Three members of Allen Temple drove by Mrs. Cross's house when they received word of the tragedy. One of the trio, who did not want to give her name, said: "She was a beautiful woman."
She said Mrs. Cross walked with the assistance of a cane and was not always able to attend church.
But she was there last Sunday and sang in the choir. "We're still in shock," she said.
The woman also said Mrs. Cross was an avid gardener and a member of the Hibiscus Club. Her pink house was surrounded in a garden setting. Mr. Lister said: "She loved plants. Inside is just as pretty as outside."
She is survived by her sons Burnell, Erroll and Alphonso.
Mrs. Cross' husband Wentworth, who was a taxi driver, has been deceased for many years.

Editor’s note: This story was amended on April 25, 2008.