Family Remembers Mother Killed in Fire - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

01/20/06

Family Remembers Mother Killed in Fire

Gugle Street in Savannah. Gugle Street in Savannah.
Rosa Walton Rosa Walton
Dexter Alexander salvages what he can from the house. Dexter Alexander salvages what he can from the house.

An early-morning fire in a Savannah home killed one person. It happened around 5:30am on Gugle Street just off Bay Street. Fire officials say the cause was accidental, started by a space heater left too close to some furniture.

The homeowner--58-year-old Rosa Walton--called 911, but never made it out of the house. When firefighters arrived, they found the front of the home completely engulfed in flames.

"The bedroom where she was found was next to the living room," said Savannah Fire Department spokesman Matt Stanley. "She was trapped in the bedroom, and couldn't get out. She did try to protect herself, by throwing a mattress over herself."

Walton was rushed to the hospital where she was pronounced dead.

Family and friends arrived on the scene early this morning only to learn the heartbreaking news. They are still in shock, but are remembering the woman everyone liked to refer to as "Mom."

One by one, family members carried out Rosa's belongings, holding tight the memories they have of her in their arms. "I know she's with with Lord right now, so I'm not sad," said Dexter Alexander, Rosa's son. "I know she's gone home. But I'm still going to miss her, though."

Dexter was able to salvage reminders of happy times, like pictures of Rosa in her wedding dress, after she and her husband renewed their vows. But it's the love that overflowed to her friends and neighbors that family members remember the most.

"She's been a mother to everyone," said Dexter. "All my friends call her Mom. Everybody that knows her, loves her."

Even an associate minister at her church, where Rosa was active, called her Mom. Rosa kept her faith close to her heart, ministering to anyone in need.

Her house represented a home to anyone who needed one. The house that took her life also gave others hope. "She was a wonderful woman," said Dexter. "Everybody came to her house with problems. She'd pray about it and tell them to leave it alone and put it in the hands of the Lord."

And Dexter knows the family's faith will see them through this difficult time. "Trust in the Lord, believe in the Lord," he said. "I know she's in a good place, but I'm still going to miss her."

Rosa Walton's body will be taken to the crime lab for an autopsy.

Reported by: Melanie Ruberti, mruberti@wtoc.com

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