It was a sad day in Kirikiri Town, the community that houses the major prisons in Nigeria on Thursday following the tragic death of five children in a late night inferno.
The sad disaster, occurred at 29, Comfort Oboh Street, behind the Maximum Security Prison, Kirikiri Town, Lagos.
The victims, Emeka 12, Ifeanyi 10, Chinasa eight, Joy six, and Bright four whose parents are Ogbonna and Margaret Igwuagwu were roasted alive at their family house during the fire outbreak.
Out of the 30 occupants of the building, which was completely razed by the inferno, only the five siblings were unlucky.
An eyewitness said that the fire broke out at about 11.30 pm in the room where the five children were sleeping and later spread to other rooms all made of wood.
The parents, Mr. & Mrs. Igwuagwu were said to have locked the siblings inside the room and lit a candle for them due to power outage.
Sources said the parents are fond of locking the children inside the room whenever they were going for their businesses.
Investigation revealed trouble started when children slept off and the candle fell from the table and spread fire to other parts of the room.
When the heat of the fire woke them, the helpless children were shouting for help but neighbours could not break through to rescue them due to a hard burglar proof that was used at the entrance of the room.
A source who craved anonymity disclosed that the eldest son, Emeka had earlier pleaded with his parents not to lock them in as usual that day but allow them to spend sometime outside due to the power outage, but their mother refused.
He said: “I can vividly remember when Mama Emeka ordered her children to go and sleep, saying that she needed to go back to attend to customers who were waiting for her. Emeka, the eldest, pleaded that they should be allowed to stay outside for a while.
“She insisted that they should go to bed since they were to travel the following day. I believe that it was in a bid to prevent them from running out of the house that she locked them inside and went away with the key,” she said.
A resident who claimed he witnessed the incident said a call was put across to the firefighters but they could not get to the scene on time due to bad roads between Dillion and Comfort Oboh streets.
He said, “The road is not passable and there is always traffic congestion in that area. Men of the Naval Fire Service got here first, but they could not help the situation because the damage had already been done.”
Lagos state police command spokesperson, Ngozi Braide who confirmed the incident said the parents of the victims are still in shock, adding that they were rushed to the hospital after the incident.
“At about 11.20pm, police received a call that a house in Kirikiri was on fire. The house was made of wood and corrugated iron sheets and the fire engulfed it. Five children died in the fire,” she said.