A man, wife and their three children were yesterday burnt to death in their shop at Surulere area of Lagos metropolis.
The victims were identified as Ignatius (father), Hope (mother), Chukwuka (nine, daughter), Nonso (seven, son) and Ugochukwu (six, son). Initially, the mother and her three children were said to have died in the inferno which started about 2 a.m.
The incident, which occurred at Ogunleye Street off Adekunle Kuye Street, Kilo Bus Stop, Surulere, has thrown the community into mourning. Some residents were seen gathered at the scene to mourn the family.
It was learnt that the family members were sleeping in their shop when the fire broke out. But the cause of the fire was not known at the time of filling this report. A guard, Salisu Ibrahim, he was in the compound when he saw the flames of the fire.
“While I was shouting for help, my colleagues came out of their houses. But before we got there, the father had already run out, screaming and rolling on the ground.
A few minutes later, his wife also came out.” Ibrahim added that when the wife came out, she shouted the names of her children and went back into the house to rescue them. But she was said to have collapsed and died while trying to rescue them. It was learnt that that the fire spread to another shop and burn goods believed to worth millions of naira.
A resident, who identified herself simply as Justina, said the family’s eldest daughter was supposed to receive her scholarship certificate given to her by the Lagos State government yesterday.
She said: “The daughter was very brilliant. She was given a scholarship by the state government. She was supposed to get her certificate by noon on Thursday from her school principal but now they are no more. What a vanity world?”
Another resident, Mr. John Duru, told our correspondent that the woman had suffered a lot and shouldn’t have died in that manner.
He said: “Whenever you are walking on the street, you see the woman washing clothes and doing some menial jobs in the community to take care of her children and the husband who was sacked from his place of work.”
Confirming the incident, the Director of the State Fire Service, Mr. Rasak Fadipe, said the inferno started in the early hours of yesterday.