A Lagos-based pastor, his wife and two children have been killed in a fire incident that consumed their house.
A fire disaster that struck the home of a man of God, Pastor Kenneth Eze, in the Bariga area of Lagos State has claimed his life, that of his wife, Favour and two young children, Miracle and Marvellous.
Guardian reports that the fire was triggered off by a power surge at the family's home located on Buraimoh Street in the early hours of Wednesday, December 6, 2017, and despite efforts neighbours and firefighters, the victims could not be saved as they were burnt to death.
According to neighbours, Pastor Kenneth who was said to be the pastor in charge of World Harvest Ministry in the Gbagada area of the state, and his family of four lived inside a shop where he and his wife sold drugs and provisions.
He was said to have relocated his family to the shop after he could not raise money to pay the rent for his former apartment.
It was gathered from witnesses that fire started around 2 am when power was restored and the victims were trapped by the two-level security burglar proof at the entrance of the shop and its extension, leading to their death.
Officials of the Lagos State Fire Service, Lagos State Emergency Management Agency and policemen from the Bariga Division were said to have responded to a distress call but could do nothing to help the victims as they were trapped.
As soon as the fire was put out, relatives of the victims were said to have taken the corpses to their hometown in Umueze Ala Ogboko, in the Ideato South Local Government Area of Imo State.
Two other shops were affected by the inferno before the intervention of firefighters.
A screen printer whose shop was opposite the victims’ shop, told reporters that the power surge triggered the inferno.
“I sleep in my shop as well because of the nature of my work. Power was restored around 2 am and that was when the fire started. There was a sudden explosion in the shop.
It was difficult to get close to the place because everywhere was on fire. The heat was intense. Later, firefighters brought out their corpses. It was the body of the woman that was brought out first, before those of the two children.
They initially couldn’t find the pastor. After some search, they found his corpse in the shop, where he was probably attempting to find a way out.”
The Director of the Lagos State Fire Service, Rasak Fadipe, said the agency received a distress call around 2.48 am, adding that the Alausa and Ilupeju fire divisions responded to the calls.
“We met the fire well alight and our men put it out. There were two levels of burglar proof, with one at the entrance of the shop, while the other covered the extension.
We found it difficult to gain access because of the burglar proof bars. We should not turn our houses into prisons. Safety is very important. Every member of a family should know how the door is locked at night.
We should discourage the use of keys to lock doors. When there is a fire incident, people should raise the alarm before it gets too late.”
He said the cause of the fire incident had yet to be established, adding that investigations were ongoing.