NASSAU –– A husband and wife, along with their infant granddaughter, were found unresponsive in a Nassau Village home Thursday, believed to have suffered asphyxiation from a generator running overnight.
Neighbours called the police after receiving no answer when calling on the couple, Brady and Princess Simms, earlier that morning.
Concerned residents entered the house around 8 a.m. and all three occupants were rushed to Princess Margaret Hospital, according to police reports.
The adults were declared dead shortly after arriving at hospital.
However, the unidentified eight-month-old survived and was in critical condition up to press time last night.
The child’s mother was said to be working an overnight shift and was not in the home when the tragedy occurred.
The Simms’ neighbours expressed shock at the scene as police investigated.
Some, who did not wish to have their names published, described the couple as hardworking, generous, kind and ideal neighbors.
They said the couple lived in the neighbourhood for more than two decades.
Assistant Commissioner of Police Stephen Dean indicated that based on preliminary investigations, police suspect the incident might be linked to a generator that was connected to the home.
The house did not have electricity, according to Dean.
The Guardian understands Bahamas Power and Light disconnected the home’s electricity supply for non-payment Wednesday.
“Neighbours had to force their way into the home, attempting to rescue persons,” Dean said.
Dean said EMS personnel took the Simms to Princess Margaret Hospital, however, repeated efforts to revive them failed.
Princess was an employee at the Ministry of Tourism. Co-workers described her as a dedicated and fun-loving friend to many, who was always prepared to offer a kind word.
Director General of Tourism Joy Jibrilu told The Guardian “devastation” is not the right word to describe the feeling people at the ministry have over Princess’ passing.
“We are just absolutely stunned,” she said.
At least half of the staff at the Ministry of Tourism’s downtown office was sent home early, a decision made by Minister of Tourism Obie Wilchcombe, according to Jibrilu.
“Nobody could function,” she said.
Jibrilu said Simms worked in the human resources department, but occasionally spent time working as a receptionist.
Jibrilu described Simms as a loving and generous person “who had so much to give”.
Simms worked at the ministry for more than 20 years and she was recognized for her long-standing work at Government House last year.
Brady was a bailiff at the Supreme Court and a member of the Royal Bahamas Police Force Reserves, according to Dean. He most recently worked in Supreme Court Justice Bernard Turner’s court. Turner reportedly dismissed court early Thursday after being informed of Simms’ death.
Dean said the loss was also personal for many on the police force as the Simms’ son is a police officer. He offered condolences on behalf of the police force, Commissioner of Police Ellison Greenslade and Minister of National Security Bernard Nottage.
In a press release issued Thursday afternoon, Bahamas Power and Light called the deaths a tragedy and urged members of public who have generators to ensure they are used properly in the absence of electricity supply.
The company would not comment on the Simms’ account, citing customer confidentiality.