John Adams, Minna
Tragedy struck in Minna, the Niger State capital, yesterday when a woman and her three children, including a one- month-old baby, were burnt to death in their two-bedroom apartment in Nkangbe, a suburb of Minna.
The incident was said to have occurred at about 11.30pm when the family had retired to bed.
The fire lasted for over three hours with neighbors trying frantically to help put it off but to no avail. The entire building was razed down with no pin removed.
However, the second wife identified as Fati and her two children were rescued from the adjourning building but with severe burns. The husband of the deceased, Baba Abba, who is based in Abuja, was not at home when the incident occurred.
Although men of the fire service were called and actually responded to the distress call immediately, the rescue was, however, hampered by the jammed doors and window burglar proofs, making rescue very difficult.
The neighbors said they did not know the cause of the fire, as the community had no electricity for over two months because their transformer was bad.
One of the neighbours, who was involved in the rescue, Musa Ibrahim, said that they called the fire service immediately they saw flames coming from the house.
He said that they tried their best to rescue the women and the children but could not as the fire was very intense.
“We tried as much as we could but we couldn’t get inside. With the help of the fire service, we rescued the second wife through the window and she was wounded and had some burns.
“When we were able to get inside as men of the fire service tried their best to rescue the second wife and her children but before we could get inside, they were already burnt,” he said.
One of the men of the fire service said they were yet to ascertain the cause of the fire. He said: “We received stress call from those in the area and the fire service came. We tried to help fight the fire. We met people trapped inside the house but was able to rescue only three people.”