A fire outbreak at the residence of the Bayelsa Chairman of Board of Internal Revenue, Mr Nimibofa Ayawei, on Saturday claimed two lives, witnesses said.
The two victims were Ayawei’s son and his girlfriend, who were in the building, located in Akenfa, a suburb of Yenagoa.
Sympathizers and residents assisted in putting out the fire and saved the building from being burnt down.
A family source, Mr James Akan, confirmed to reporters that the two victims were Mr Mike Ayawei and his girlfriend whose name could not be immediately ascertained.
Akan said the fire started early on Saturday as Port-Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company restored power supply raising suspicion that the incident might be traced to power surge.
“The family members have deposited the remains of the two persons at the mortuary, it is really a pathetic sight.
“As they brought the light, there was a loud noise like explosion and other occupants of rooms in the house started running for safety.
“Mike was trying to save his girlfriend before they were caught up by the fire.
“It is a pity, others even broke the protector in an effort to save their lives but help came too late, he unfortunately died trying to save his girlfriend,” Akan said.
Akan said Ayawei just recovered from serious ailment and was away for burial when the fire broke out.
He added that the family was in grief and would soon prepare for the burial of the victims considering that they were young people.
When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Asinim Butswat, said the command received a distress call that a house was burning and immediately dispatched a response team.
Meanwhile, the Head of Fire Service in Yenagoa, Mr Dennis Obumor, said the service was not contacted during the fire.