Former Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Maurice Darius has died tragically in an early Tuesday morning fire at his home in True Blue in the south of the island.
A family member told THE NEW TODAY newspaper that officers attached to the Fire Department of the Royal Grenada Police Force (RGPF) are still investigating to determine the cause of the fire at the home.
An official police report said that, “the fire emergency call was received around 04:48 hrs. On arrival, one of the occupants was found unresponsive in a room in the upper floor of the two-storey family home. He was administered CPR and was transported to the General Hospital St. George’s where he was pronounced dead.
“One bedroom along with its roof area was completely destroyed.
No other residents were harmed. The cause of the fire remains under investigation”, it added.
The family member told this newspaper that it appears the former top ranking police officer was fast asleep when he was alerted by his wife that there was a fire inside the house.
He spoke of Darius who was sleeping in only shorts getting up and attempted to get his long pants to run outside when he was trapped in the room.
He said that the 72 year old ex-cop is known to have adverse reaction to things like fire, smoke and acidic liquid and apparently was knocked unconscious from the smoke that quickly filled the room.
The family member brushed aside reports circulating on the island that Darius came outside and then rushed back inside the house to retrieve a personal laptop computer when he was trapped inside the blazing building.
According to the source, the wife who was also in the room with her husband suffered a damaged toe as she fled the fire that was taking over the house.
A resident of the area who visited the fire scene told THE NEW TODAY that he saw medical students attached to St. George University (SGU) administering life-saving CPR methods on Darius for about 40 minutes before the body was taken away to the St. George’s General Hospital.
ACP Darius was one of the brothers of late Catholic Bishop, Vincent Darius who died three years ago after a prolonged illness.
He joined the local police force after the October 1983 U.S-led military intervention of Grenada to put down a bloody junta that had seized power in a coup that resulted in the execution of then marxist leader, Maurice Bishop.
He was serving in the Royal Antigua Police Force and came in as part of the island’s contingent on peace-keeping duties in Grenada.
Darius rose through the ranks to become ACP before he was unceremoniously removed from RGPF in the aftermath of Hurricane Ivan in September 2004 when the top brass of the force was heavily criticised for their lack of performance and initiatives taken during the severe weather condition that left a trail of death and destruction of homes and businesses on the island.
The police bulletin said that an autopsy will be conducted to determine the cause of death.
“The Royal Grenada Police Force extends deepest condolences to the bereaved family”, it added.