The children of a Maltese grandmother who lost her life after “suffocating” in her bed after an early morning fire broke out have recounted the last time they saw her mere moments before the tragedy.
Having gotten up for work, the children of 81-year-old Lonza Busuttil said they had given her some food and spoke to her before leaving for their jobs, TVM reported. Shortly afterwards, a fire spread among the upper floor of her home at around 6.30am, starting in an outer room before smoke spread to her bedroom.
Busuttil and her dog both suffocated among the fumes.
Her children, neighbours and the Tarxien community were left broken and shocked by the sudden death. The great-grandmother of five is being remembered as a dedicated woman who loved the locality.
“I lived near her, she would sell me broad beans,” Marija, a neighbour, said. “She was a woman who minded her own business, a very serious woman.”
Tarxien’s mayor Joseph Abela Galea remembered her as someone who spoke to everyone.
“I’ve always known her as a happy person, you’d barely see her before she’d call you over, she would speak to everyone,” he said. “Personally, I have no idea how someone can say anything about her or her family. A truly dedicated family that loved Tarxien.”
He also uploaded an image of the late woman’s burnt door, calling for support for the family.
The fire had broken out in the home in Triq Betta, where Busuttil lived with two of her children.
Though a medical team arrived on the scene shortly after the fire was discovered, Busuttil was pronounced dead on the scene due to smoke inhalation. Her home was left with substantial damage.
Magistrate Victor Axiaq has opened an inquiry into the death.
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