A family of seven were, yesterday, roasted in a fire that engulfed a building at Lawanson, Surulere, Lagos.
Among those who lost their lives in the inferno were Mr. Kelechi Ali, his wife, Nkiru, Onoja, their baby boy of about three weeks, their son, Favour, about three years old.
Also killed in the fire were Onoja’s mother, who was on a visit to care for her nursing daughter, and two other children, aged eight and ten years respectively, who were said to have visited for the summer holiday.
Eight-year-old Chidinma, however, survived but not without serious burns. She is undergoing treatment at the Intensive Care Unit of Gbagada General Hospital.
The grandmother, reportedly in her 60s, was believed to have concluded plans to return to her base at Nsukka, Enugu State yesterday before the unfortunate incident.
It was gathered that the fire started in Ali’s self-contained apartment located on 21, Michael Ogun street, Obele Lawanson, at about 11pm Tuesday while the family was asleep.
It reportedly raged for over an hour before the arrival of the fire service. Although their shout for help alerted other residents, no one heeded the call.
Lagos State Fire Service Director, Rasaq Fadipe, said fire trucks were deployed to the scene immediately the distress call was received.
An eyewitness who identified herself as Abure Hanna, told Vanguard: “A few minutes into my sleep, I heard voices which sounded like people were quarrelling.
“Later, I heard shout of fire from the next compound. I ran out and started calling neighbours to come and help. I think the fire had been on for about 30 minutes before I came out. The fire service came late to the scene after the fire had been doused by residents.”
Another resident, who pleaded anonymity, stated that the family members could have been rescued had neighbours went for their rescue on time.
“Everybody stayed put in their houses even when the family was shouting for help. This is because of the lingering quarrel between the family and their neighbours.
“As you can see , there are three houses in the compound but the middle one occupied by the Onojas was the one affected. This is not ordinary because even the connecting wires to other buildings were not affected,” the resident said.