Residents of Obele Oniwala Estate, Lawanson, Surulere, Lagos, were awoken to a heart wrenching news of a family of seven that was wiped off in a inferno that occurred in a two room ‘safe contained’ building located between 23 and 27, Michael Ogun, Obele, Lawanson, Surulere, close to Ogunlana Drive. The tragic incidence occurred today, September 9, 2015.
The family, whose identity could not be identified as at the time of filing this report, consisted of a mother whose baby was barely three or four months old according to neighbors. Her husband, two kids, and one of the couple’s mother who arrived with two other family members were burnt beyond recognition. The only survivor, who is in a critical condition at a hospital, is a house help who was retrieved from the restroom after the fire was put off by members of the fire service.
- Crowd at the scene
According to neighbors who were interviewed by zeeny360.com, the fire started around 11 pm and was put off after 12 am. Some claimed that the fire could have happened due to ‘witchcraft’, with one woman saying: “dem send them candle.” Our correspondence who was at the scene at about 8am pointed out that the burnt block was in a very cramped compound with just an outlet that was heavily barricaded with a burglary proof, thus making escape difficult for the family. Others who got to scene of the incident as a 5 am before the corpses were removed said that the entire deceased family was all cramped in a room with the mother-in-law still clinching to the lifeless body of one of the kids. It is suspected that the fire started from the living room, where all the furniture was totally incinerated.
- A distraught neighbor and new mother held from collapsing
Describing the new mother, some said she was a ‘young, fair complexioned happy woman’ who enjoyed taking her kids to the market, at times accompanied by the elderly woman who had come to join the family for “omugwo” – a tradition of coming to assist a new mother by one of the parents, usually associated with the Igbos, where the woman is said to have hailed from.
On why none of the neighbors could rescue the victims when the fire started, immediate neighbors said they hardly suspected a fire was burning. One of the neighbors said: “they don’t greet us,” raising suspicion that little help came at the start of the incidence due to animosity.
Another fire incidence was reportedly averted in a nearby building this morning.
- The cramped compound with burnt building still standing
Although police officers at the scene could not offer explanations about the incidents, they remained at the scene long after an Ambulance with registration number SMK 303 BK moved the seven corpses away.
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