Residents of Ijorgbor Street on Upper Sokponba Road in Ikpoba Okha Local Government Area of Edo State were shocked over the death of a five-year-old boy in a midnight fire which gutted a bungalow where he lived.
The boy, whose identity could not be ascertained at press time, was locked up in a room with his younger brother by his father who wanted to buy foodstuff nearby.
It was learnt that a generator and a cooking stove were inside the room but no one knew what actually led to the outbreak of the inferno. Speculations were rife that the fire might have started from a faulty electrical installation when the Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC) restored power.
A witness, Omoye Oriameh, said the intensity of the fire prevented residents from rescuing the boy as he was trapped in one of the rooms in the building.
Oriameh disclosed that the children were crying for help through the window and one of the neighbors used an axe to break open the door to rescue one of them now receiving treatment in a hospital while the other was stuck inside. She said men of the state Fire Service arrived as the fire completely razed down the building.
“Two kids were inside the house. They were shouting and we could hear their shout from the window. One guy from this house took an axe and broke the louvers. He brought one of the kids out but he was unable to bring out the other one because he was inside and the fire caught up with him,” Oriameh added.
Another neighbour, Osamudiamen Edobor, said it was shocking for the parents to lock their children in their apartment, only for one of them to die. He said: “They have stove and generator in that room.
The man was cooking in the room. It is sad that one of the children died.” The surviving child was yesterday transferred to the Intensive Care Unit of the University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH) for further treatment.