His mom died in sweltering rehab center. He put her there because it was right by hospital.

If you walked into The Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills, you had to only to ask for Gail to be led to 70-year-old Gail Nova.

Despite her common name and inability to walk, she knew everyone and everyone knew her, said Jeffrey Nova, her only child.

“You didn’t need to give a last name. Everyone knew Gail,” he said.

She and seven others at the center died Wednesday. Police have started a criminal investigation.

She had been at the center eight years, he said, after her health began to deteriorate. He declined to give specifics, calling his mother a proud woman. He picked the center because of its proximity to Memorial Regional Hospital, just in case she needed immediate care.

It is right across the street.

“If she needed care, they literally had only had feet to go,” Nova said.

Gail was a Type A personality, with a talent for getting a rise out of people, he said. She lived for their reactions to her off-hand comments.

Born and raised in New Jersey, Gail later attended the University of Miami and worked as an X-ray technician until the day she got sick, Nova said. She raised Nova as a single mom.

She talked to everyone and had a gift for making friends instantly, he said.

“She’d be the woman that if you were at Publix and you were standing in line, you’d leave with a cell number and a new best friend,” he said.

But he said his most cherished memories belong to himself, his wife and Gail’s 17-year-old granddaughter.

“It’s a memory book and sometimes you don’t just open it to everyone,” he said.