An early hour mysterious fire, yesterday, claimed the lives of a man,
his wife and four-year-old daughter along the ever busy Katsina-Ala
Street, in Makurdi, the Benue State capital.
Vanguardgathered from an eyewitness that the victims, Terhemba Makaar,
a senior official of the National Union of Road Transport Workers,
NURTW, and his two family members were roasted in the inferno before
help could reach them.
According to the witness, Mrs. Terwase Ormye, who is a neighbour to
the victims, "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."
Cause of the fire
On the cause of the fire, the witness said: "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 lamented that the victims would have been rescued if officials of
the state fire service had arrived the scene on time.
She said: "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
Contacted, the Benue State Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO,
Deputy Superintendent Daniel Ezeala, said the police had commenced
investigation into the incident.