A raging fire reportedly triggered by a power surge has reportedly claimed the life of a pastor in charge of World Harvest Ministry in the Gbagada area of Lagos State, identified as Kenneth Eze, his wife and two of their kids.
According to reports, the fire which occurred inside their shop located at Buraimoh Street in Bariga where Kenneth and his wife, Favour lived and sold drugs and provisions with their two kids Miracle and Marvellous was sparked after the Ikeja Electric Distribution Company restored power around 2am.
Eyewitnesses say the family which was relocated to the shop by Kenneth who couldn’t raise money to pay rent for his former apartment got trapped in the premises by the two-level security burglar proof at the entrance and its extension.
Recounting the incident, a witness whose shop was opposite that of the victims said it was difficult to access the shop because everywhere was on fire and the two-level security burglar proof prevented the rescue of the family.
“I sleep in my shop as well because of the nature of my work. Power was restored around 2am and that was when the fire started. There was a sudden explosion in the shop. It was difficult to get close to the place because everywhere was on fire. The heat was intense.
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“Later, firefighters brought out their corpses. It was the body of the woman that was brought out first, before those of the two children. They initially couldn’t find the pastor. After some search, they found his corpse in the shop, where he was probably attempting to find a way out,” the printer, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said.
According to Okechukwu Idoko, a friend of the victim, he had a discussion with Kenneth who was almost done with the building of his house located somewhere in Ikorodu.
“He said he wanted to lay the tiles on the floor, and I advised him to put certain things in place first. That was our last discussion before he died. Despite the fire, the money he made from the previous day sales in the shop, and his telephone were intact,” Idoko said.
Reacting to the fire incident, Rasak Fadipe, the Director of the Lagos State Fire Service said the agency responded immediately after receiving a distress call around 2.48 am but found it difficult to rescue the family because of the two-level security burglar proof.
Fadipe said; “We met the fire well alight and our men put it out. There were two levels of burglar proof – one at the entrance of the shop, while the other covered the extension. We found it difficult to gain access because of the burglar proof bars.
“We should not turn our houses to prisons. Safety is very important. Every member of a family should know how the door is locked at night. We should discourage the use of keys to lock doors. When there is a fire incident, people should raise the alarm before it gets too late.”
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