Family Of 3 Burnt To Death In Maiduguri

house on fire

An early morning fire, yesterday, claimed the lives of a man, his wife and four-year-old daughter along Katsina-Ala Street, in Makurdi, Benue State.

According to an eyewitness, the victims, Terhemba Makaar, a senior official of the National Union of Road Transport Workers, NURTW, and his two family members were burnt beyond recognition in the inferno before help could reach them.

The witness, Mrs. Terwase Ormye, who is a neighbour to the victims, said, “the fire started at about 2 am. We were suddenly woken by shouts of ‘fire’ from the house.

“We heard someone screaming ‘help me! help me! The flame and smoke were too much and the house had only one door with burglary proof so it became very difficult for anyone to go in and rescue them.

“While some of us were busy pouring water on the building to put out the fire, the few hands available struggled to break a portion of the house when the inferno was still raging.

“Unfortunately, when youths in the area succeeded in breaking into the house, Mrs. Makaar and her four-year-old daughter had already been burnt beyond recognition while their father who though suffered little burns had already been choked to death.

“Their only son, nine-year-old Aondugu Makaar, was rescued and immediately rushed to Saint Theresa Hospital, Makurdi where he is currently receiving treatment and in stable condition.”

No one could say precisely what caused the fire. The witness however, believes the fire could have resulted form a power surge. “It could be as a result of power surge because it was barely 30 minutes after the Power Holding Company of Nigeria, PHCN, restored electricity to the area when the fire started,” she said.

She lamented the lateness of the officials of the State Fire Service who she said got to the scene of the incident rather too late.

“We tried to reach them only to discover that they had another incident to take care of in the north bank area of the town. Before they arrived the scene, the entire house had been engulfed by inferno.”

Benue State Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, Deputy Superintendent Daniel Ezeala, said the police had commenced investigation into the incident.