Family Loses Three Children To Candle Fire

Three children of the same parents have been burnt to death after a candle light caused an inferno in their family house.

The electricity situation in the country has claimed the lives of three innocent children of the same parents when an inferno ignited by a candle light engulfed their apartment in the Jakande Estate, Mile 2 area of Lagos State on Tuesday night. The young victims were identified as Darasimi Ilori (eight months old), Temiloluwa (7), and Daniel (10).

Punch Metro reports that Temilololuwa and Daniel were pupils of Sabis Nursery and Primary School and were in primary three and five respectively.

It was gathered from residents that the fire started after the mother of the children lit a candle, shortly after returning from a church service.

She was said to have locked the children in the room and then went out to pick clothes she had washed and spread out to dry earlier in the day. Few minutes later, while the kids were asleep, the room was said to have been engulfed in smoke, before fire gutted the flat and burnt the children to death.

A resident, Ejiro Omamogho, told our Punch Newspaper that the fire started at 10pm.

When I was locking up my shop around 10pm, I saw their mother coming back from church. The children were feeling sleepy, so she went upstairs to drop them and shut the room. She lit a candle to illuminate the house before coming downstairs to pack their clothes she spread on the line.

Within a few minutes, I heard a neighbour shouting, ‘Fire! Fire! Fire!’ There was pandemonium everywhere. By the time we came out, I asked Iya Daniel (Daniel’s mother) where her children were, and she told me they were inside the house.

Another resident, Esther Esiorho, reported that the father of the children, who had just returned from Victoria Island where he worked as a chef in an eatery, began to make rescue efforts.

Their father ran back because the fire was too intense. What I, however, saw was that the seven-year-old girl, Temiloluwa, had woken up and carried her eight-month-old sister, wanting to run out with her.

But as she got into the parlour, the ceiling collapsed on them and they fell. Both of them were burnt to death. When we were removing their bodies, we saw the skeleton of Temiloluwa and the baby, clutching to each other.

It was learnt that immediately the incident happened, the victims’ parents were overcome by grief. While Mrs. Ilori reportedly began speaking incoherently, her husband passed out and were rushed to the Amuwo Medical Centre and their conditions were critical.

Meanwhile, reports have it that while the fire raged, the state fire service did not come on time to help with the rescue operations despite desperate calls for them.

One of the youths who spearheaded the rescue operation, Gabriel Omamogho, decried the attitude of the firefighters, whom he accused of arriving late at the scene and without the right equipment.

The fire service officials came around past 11pm. When they arrived, they were not with a sledgehammer, ladder or even a fire extinguisher. The youths in the estate climbed up and drew the hose upstairs. We put out the fire at 12am and I took the corpse to the mortuary.

But the Director of the Lagos State Fire Service, Rasak Fadipe, said his men did not get the alert on time.

When we got there, we met the fire well alight. The Isolo fire truck was the first to respond with 10,000 litres of water and when I received a signal that the fire was serious, I had to deploy another fire truck from the Sari-Iganmu fire station, with additional 10,000 litres of water.

However, some of the youths on ground tried to take over the fire equipment from us and out of overzealousness, damaged some of them.

They delayed in calling us and that was why we were not able to rescue the children. Two flats of three bedrooms each were destroyed by the fire, while we prevented the fire from getting to the ground and first floors.

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