LBW

Thursday, 7 April 2016

PETROL DISASTER: LANDLORD, TWO DAUGHTERS BURNT TO DEATH IN LAGOS


Kamorudeen, Shakirat and Wuraola

Tears flowed on Wednesday on Adebiyi Street in the Somolu area of Lagos State after a 65-year-old motorist, Alhaji Kamourudeen Ajibade, and his daughters, Shakirat and Wuraola, were burnt to death in an inferno.

The three were killed after fire gutted their apartment around 11pm on Tuesday.

Shakirat,19, had finished her secondary school education and was an apprentice in a graphics and design company, while 15-year-old Wuraola was still in Senior Secondary School 3.

PUNCH Metro learnt that Kamourudeen was to celebrate his election as the chairman of a motor park in Onipanu on Wednesday before the tragedy struck.

He was said to have returned from work on Tuesday with a 50-litre jerrycan of fuel which he kept in the corridor at the back of his apartment.

It was learnt that he was transferring part of the fuel to a smaller container when his phone rang.

The phone reportedly ignited a fire, which engulfed the victim.

His two daughters, who heard his cry for help, were said to have rushed there, but were trapped as well.

Their corpses were said to have been removed by officials of the Lagos State Ambulance Service.

When PUNCH Metro visited the scene, residents, family members and friends, were observed lamenting the deaths.

A neighbour of the victims, Ogbechie Enoch, aka Baba Soldier, said he had a chat with the Badagry, Lagos State indigene a few minutes to the incident.

He said, “Around 9pm, power was restored to the area and I went inside to watch news update.

“A few minutes after, the electricity went off and I came outside and saw him. I was lamenting the situation in the country and how things were getting worse. He said we should keep hope alive.

“He went back inside. It was some minutes after, around past 10pm that I heard people shouting, ‘Fire, fire, help, help’.

“The residents trooped into their house and started combating the fire. I gave them my fire extinguisher to save lives, not knowing the lives were already lost.”

PUNCH Metro observed that only the corridor of the victims was affected by the fire.

Partially burnt naira notes also littered the floor.

A tenant, who did not reveal his identity, said, “Alhaji is a motorist and he has two vehicles. One was bought just a few days ago to celebrate his election as the chairman of the park at Onipanu/Fola Agoro today (Wednesday).

“Because there was no power, he decided to transfer fuel from a 50-litre jerrycan to a smaller container. As he was doing this, his phone rang and that was how the fire started. He shouted for help and his children rushed out to save him, and were choked to death by smoke.”

A relative said she had a premonition of the incident, adding that had Kamourudeen told her of the party, she would have discouraged him.

Some friends of the victim were seen by PUNCH Metro making contributions to raise funds to take the corpses from the mortuary.

It was learnt that the family planned to bury the three corpses on Wednesday in accordance with Islamic rites.

The Director of the Lagos State Fire Service, Rasak Fadipe, said the fire was caused by the fuel which was stored at home.

“Unfortunately, three people died, which included the man and his two children. The fire was caused by storage of petrol,” he said.

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