Early morning fire tragedy on Wednesday in Bariga area of Lagos claimed the lives of Pastor Kennth Eze, his wife, Favour and two of their children, Miracle and Marvellous.
According to an eye witness, the fire that claimed the lives of the entire family in a shop did not touch the pastorâ€™s handset and the money made from sales the previous day.
Kenneth was reported to be the pastor in charge of World Harvest Ministry in the Gbagada area of the state.
It was learnt that the family of four lived inside a shop where Kenneth and his wife sold drugs and provisions.
Kenneth reportedly relocated his family to the shop after he could not raise money to pay rent for his former apartment.
A friend of the victim, Okechukwu Idoko, claimed to have mobilised some residents to put out the fire before the arrival of the fire-fighters, adding that their efforts were futile.
Idoko said he had discussed with the victim the previous day on the completion of his (Kennethâ€™s) house in the Ikorodu area of the state.
â€œHe said he wanted to lay the tiles on the floor, and I advised him to put certain things in place first. That was our last discussion before he died. Despite the fire, the money he made from the previous day sales in the shop, and his telephone were intact,â€ he added.
Our correspondent gathered from witnesses that the Ikeja Electric restored power around 2am, which allegedly triggered off the fire in the shop.
The victims were said to have been 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 the emergency.
A LASEMA official was alleged to have collapsed during the rescue operation.
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 victimsâ€™, saod that a power surge triggered the inferno.
â€œI sleep in my shop as well because of the nature of my work. Power was restored around 2am 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.
â€œLater, fire-fighters brought out their corpses. It was the body of the woman that was brought out first, before those of the two children. They initially couldnâ€™t find the pastor. After some search, they found his corpse in the shop, where he was probably attempting to find a way out,â€ the printer, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said.
The two children, Miracle and Marvellous, were said to be aged six and three respectively.
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