How fire killed my 3 children while I was in vigil – Father

Tunde Emmanuel, a 44-year-old father of three siblings who reportedly died in a fire outbreak in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, on Friday, has described his children’s death as a mystery and an act of God.

The three children were locked up in the home at night while their parents were not around.

Efforts by the deceased children: Glory, 14; Samuel, 8; and Darasimi, 3, to escape from the inferno were said to have failed because they could not access the alternative exit.

While explaining the reasons why the children were locked up in the home at midnight on the tragic day, Emmanuel said he could not give the details of the incident because he was not at the scene during the fire outbreak.

The Ibadan-born estate agent, who was being interrogated by the police as of the time of filing this report, said his wife, Christianah, was at work in a beer parlour when the tragedy struck.

He said, “I don’t know how it happened. Let’s just hand everything over to God. Even my neighbours could not say something cogent on how it happened. I don’t understand them.

“The children used to sleep at home alone. I’m not always around. I went for a programme that night; it was a vigil.

“My wife went to the store where she sells beer. The place is owned by her pastor. I have been at the Sanyo Police Station since the incident happened. The police are interrogating me.”

Speaking on Saturday, the Deputy Director, Oyo State Fire Service, Mr Moshood Adewuyi, explained that the cause of the outbreak was an electrical surge from appliances that were put on but not attended to when power was restored. “The family lives in a room and a parlour. The fire started in the living room. The alternative door where the children could have used to escape had been blocked with their belongings.

“It was wrong for the parents to leave the children behind unattended to. They have a limitation of reasoning. Nothing stopped them (the children) from going for prayers too. We urge people to always switch off all appliances when there is no light to avoid fire outbreak.”

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