From Gyang Bere, Jos
SADNESS, agony and a creepy feeling of hopelessness, these have become the daily companions of eight-year-old Amina Adamu. The girl recently lost her parents and three siblings in a fire that engulfed their family compound at Madaki Street, Bukuru, Jos South Local Government Area of Plateau State.
Amina, the only surviving daughter of late Adamu Yusuf, 34, and Mariyam Adamu, 29, escaped death as she did not pass the night in the house on Saturday, December 9, 2017, when the strange fire broke out.
The fire also consumed her immediate younger brother, Abdullahi, 6, four-year- old Ibrahim and the baby of the house, nine-month-old Fatima.
Amina, a Primary 1 pupil of Peace Private School, Bukuru, had been sent out of school for unpaid fees ahead of the second term examination scheduled to commence on Monday, December 11, and she was visiting her grandmother to raise the money.
She passed the night at her grandmother’s place and was ignorant of her family’s fate until daybreak.
It was gathered that there was no electric power throughout the night,
and no one could explain the cause of the strange fire that razed the house by 2am that night. The family members were trapped in their bedroom as the fire raged.
A neighbour who noticed the fire in the night raised the alarm and a crowd gathered to help, but nothing could be done to save the situation.
It was gathered that the matter was worsened by the fact that none of the four rooms in the house had a window, and, since fire had taken over the entrance, getting out became problematic. Also, those that attempted to rescue the victims could not gain access into the building because of the intensity of the fire. There was no water in the area to help put out the fire.
Adamu, until his death, was a butcher while the wife was a stay-at-home mum.
Amina, the only survivor, still finds it hard to accept her fate. She is easily overwhelmed by grief whenever she remembers her parents and siblings are no more.
She told the reporter: “I went to see my grandmother to ask her for my school fees and I decided to pass the night there that day. I can’t believe that I will no longer see my parents. I am left alone with my grandmother who does nothing for a living. My parents have been buried with my younger ones.”
The 55-year-old mother of the deceased Yusuf, Amina Yusuf, has also remained inconsolable.
“I don’t know what could have cause the fire outbreak that night, and people are saying there was no electricity throughout the night. I don’t know where to start life from again. How could I lose all I have within one night? God, I need your help.”
Director, Plateau State Fire Service, Michael Dung, confirmed the incident. He said it was somebody from a different community that called to inform him about the inferno. He regretted that the fire had already caused much damage before the attention of emergency officers was called. He stated that, before his men could get to the scene, the fire had done much damage.
Dung said, “My attention was drawn to the incident by somebody from a different community who probably saw the smoke in the air. I quickly called my men and gave them marching orders to the scene to put the fire out, but because we were not called in good time, the fire had done a lot of havoc.
“I want to beg the public to always inform us in time whenever there is a fire outbreak. We don’t collect money for our services. People don’t inform us on time, thinking they are going to pay. They would wait until the fire has gone beyond their control. That shouldn’t be the case.”