A fire incident that occurred in an apartment located on 21, Michael Ogun Street, Obele Lawanson in Lagos has left six members of a family dead and the last member still battling for her life in a hospital.
The ravaging fire was reported to have started around 11pm on Tuesday, September 8 while members of the family were asleep. In the house were Mr. Kelechi Ali, his wife, Nkiru, Onoja, their three children named Onoja, Favour and Chidinma aged three weeks, three years and eight years respectively.
Also in the house were Onoja’s mother and two children who had come to spend the summer holiday there.
According to Vanguard, the members of the family screamed for help when the fire started but it was alleged that their neighbours refused to heed to the call due to the tension that existed between them. By the time officials of the Lagos State Fire Service arrived, all members of the household had been burnt to death except Chidinma who was badly burnt but still alive.
A neighbor said it was because of the quarrel that existed between the family and their neighbours that made the neighbours refuse to help them.
“Everybody stayed put in their houses even when the family was shouting for help. This is because of the lingering quarrel between the family and their neighbours.
‘’As you can see, there are three houses in the compound but the middle one occupied by the Onojas was the one affected. This is not ordinary because even the connecting wires to other buildings were not affected.”
High Chief Kareem Jinadu Awoyemi, the traditional ruler of Surulere reportedly cried when he visited the site of the fire incident and blamed the neighbours for their inaction.
He said: “There are issues brought to me that occupants of the three buildings in the compound were never in good terms.
‘’This is just too much. How could this type of thing escalate to this level when the victims had neighbours?”
Some persons, angered by the inaction of the neighbours tried to attack them and burn the two houses but the intervention of the police prevented another tragedy.
A neighbor was seen collecting money from sympathisers for chidinma who was still in the hospital.
“We are donating for the treatment of the little girl that is in the hospital. Chidinma (survivor ) is in critical condition in the hospital and we are doing all we can to ensure her survival. Doctors said she has a fifty-fifty chance of survival.’’