No fewer than three siblings were burnt to death after a fire razed a residential building in Ohong community of Obudu Local Government, Cross River State.
It was leant that the siblings– two boys and a girl — aged between four and eight years, were the dead victims of the inferno, which occurred about 7.30pm on Tuesday.
Our correspondent gathered on Wednesday that the fire incident was caused by a generator, which developed fault shortly after it was switched on by the father of the kids, Mr. John Ugem.
According to a neighbour of the bereaved family, Mr. Sunday Ugbe, fuel from the leaking tank of the generator flowed into the sitting and suddenly caught fire 30 minutes after it was switched on.
He said the parents of the deceased were sitting in the corridor of the house, while the kids were inside when suddenly fire engulfed the house
Ugbe said, “The generator was on for about 30 minutes before some quantities of petrol, which apparently leaked from the tank, started flowing to the sitting room.
“We don’t know what could have ignited the generator, but suddenly the sitting room was on fire which also trapped the kids inside.”
He said sympathisers, who attempted to force the windows and door open to rescue the kids, were repelled by the huge fire, smoke and heat emanating from the house.
The fire was said to have defied all efforts by neighbours to put it out as Ugem was said to have stored some containers of petrol in the house.
Poised to save the lives of his children, Ugem was said to have gained entry into the house through one of the back windows but also got trapped by the inferno.
As of the time of going to the press Ugem, who narrowly escaped death, is currently on admission at the Obudu Sacred Heart Hospital with life threatening-burns.
An attempt to speak with his wife, Mrs. S. Ugem, proved abortive as she was in bitter tears, saying that the fire had “spiritual” undertone.
Posted from WordPress for BlackBerry by Salmon Abiodun