Tragedy struck in the Ikotun area of Lagos State on Tuesday after a sailor, Okodeion Oseghale, 47, and an 18-year-old girl, Ngozi Egbujor, were burnt to death in a fire outbreak.
It was learnt that the incident happened around 2am on Authority Avenue, Ile Iwe.
The fire was reportedly caused by an electrical surge in the apartment of the victims.
Our correspondent learnt that the teenage victim was the sister of Okodeion’s wife, Adah, and had been living with the family for some time.
She had travelled to the village and returned a day before the incident.
Okodeion, an indigene of Edo State, was also said to have been away from his family for over two years due to the nature of his job and had returned home in March for a professional course.
The two victims were said to be burnt to death, while the family’s two children and wife, escaped with injuries.
When our correspondent visited the area, he observed that the fire gutted the top floor of the one-storey building where the Oseghales occupied a three-bedroom flat.
A neighbour, who identified herself simply as Kate, said she was preparing to sleep when the fire started.
She said, “My elder sister had been sick and my family had been observing prayer and fasting for her.
“Because of that, I couldn’t sleep early last night. But as I was planning to go to bed around 2am, I heard people shouting, ‘fire, fire’.
“I rushed inside my room and picked my certificates, phones and rushed out.
“I sighted the man’s wife with the two kids on their balcony shouting for help. The fire was raging in their sitting room.”
Our correspondent learnt that Okodeion was in the master’s bedroom, while Egbujor was sleeping in her room when the fire started.
Our correspondent gathered that Okodeion ran to the electricity meter to disconnect the power, but he was electrocuted.
A neighbour, whose apartment is directly under the Oseghales, Mrs. Abiodun Okusanya, said she was asleep when a sudden thud woke her up.
The thud was said to be the fall of the 47-year-old.
She said, “I heard the man’s wife shouting, ‘fire, fire, help, help’. There was confusion everywhere.”
Everybody in the neighbourhood was said to have rushed out, leaving the Oseghales, who were still trapped in the building.
A security man on the street was also said to have alerted men of the Lagos State Fire Service.
The firemen reportedly responded promptly and broke through the wall to bring out Adah and the children.
The Director of the Lagos State Fire Service, Rasak Fadipe said two fire trucks were deployed in the scene.
He said, “We received the call at 2.47am. Fire trucks from Ikotun and Agege were sent there. It was a storey building of four flats.
“We broke the wall to rescue the mother and two children.
“While fighting the fire, we discovered that the head of the family was on the floor, close to the door, while the second person was on the bed. Both were dead.”
He said the fire was caused by electrical surge, adding that the corpses of the victims had been handed over to policemen from the Ikotun station.