Tragedy struck at Ayankor, Gboko East, in Gboko local government area of Benue state when a family of seven, were at the early hours of Friday, burnt to death in a mysterious fire that engulfed their home.
An eyewitness told Vanguard that the inferno, which started at about 1 am, burnt the block of three flats, killing a man, his wife and their five children. Other occupants of the building however managed to escape. The man, Lawani Oye, was said to be a popular automobile panel beater in the area.
“The fire started at about 1am in Mr. Oye’s flat when everyone in the neighbourhood, including the victims of the inferno were asleep,” the eyewitness said.
“It was his wife and mother of the dead children who we popularly call Mama Tunde, who raised the alarm that prompted other neighbours to rush out of their flats and after failing to fight the strange fire however managed to escape.
“Our pain about this tragic and unfortunate incident is that the same woman who died with her family in the fire was the one who raised the alarm that saved others. They were burnt beyond recognition.
“The whole thing is still a mystery to neighbors and no one can, at this moment, ascertain the cause of the inferno but the only clue we have is that their generator was on that night and by the time we went round after the fire, we saw that a lantern was positioned very close to the generating set,” the eyewitness said.