Firefighters make grim discovery

ALEJANDRO A. ALVAREZ / STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Family members grieve yesterday outside Grover Edwards' Southwest Philly rowhouse, which authorities said had been set ablaze. Inside, Edwards was found dead, apparently shot in the head, police say.
ALEJANDRO A. ALVAREZ / STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Family members grieve yesterday outside Grover Edwards' Southwest Philly rowhouse, which authorities said had been set ablaze. Inside, Edwards was found dead, apparently shot in the head, police say.
Posted: April 26, 2013

AN ELDERLY MAN found dead inside his burning home yesterday morning in Southwest Philadelphia had been shot to death, police said.

Authorities are investigating Grover Edwards' death as a murder and arson, said Officer Christine O'Brien, a police spokeswoman. Edwards, 74, appeared to have been shot in the head, O'Brien said.

Investigators had not found a motive or suspects yesterday.

The blaze was reported at 7:30 a.m. in Edwards' rowhouse on Springfield Avenue near 59th Street, said Lt. Bernard Gilliam, a Fire Department spokesman.

It started on the first floor, but the Fire Marshal's Office was still determining the cause, Gilliam said.

An arson dog was on the scene in the morning, as neighbors and relatives gathered to mourn a man whose well-kept house had been among the nicest on the block.

Edwards was divorced and lived alone, his sister Norma Ferguson said. Several months ago, he got mugged on the street but traded blows with his attacker and escaped, she said.

Ferguson and Edwards' other relatives now wonder if the mugger returned for vengeance or some other thug decided to prey on a vulnerable old man.

"I never thought that he would leave before me," said Ferguson, 76, of West Philadelphia.

Edwards was a father of four and a grandfather to "a lot - I can't even tell you how many," she said.

He was retired from the Navy Yard and spent his retirement years improving his home, she added. "He was always fixing something."


On Twitter: @DanaDiFilippo

Blog: phillyconfidential.com

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