Two boys identified as Kesiena Lucky, four, and Wealth Enorke, 18 months old, early hours of Monday, died in a fire accident at Digbori Street near Hausa Quarters in Igbudu, Warri, Delta state.
The fire which allegedly razed down properties running into millions of naira was said to have commenced at about 2am.
Although the circumstances surrounding the start of the inferno are yet to be ascertained, reports say it was caused by candlelight left unattended by the grandmother of the victims.
Narrating the incident, an eyewitness, name withheld, disclosed that the grandmother who deals in kerosene business may have bought adulterated kerosene products which quickly caught up with the flames of the candlelight left that night.
The eyewitness said, “The fire enveloped the whole building resulting in the death of the two children who amongst four others, were sleeping at night.
“The grandmother was able to rescue two of the children before she raised the alarm. But before then, the fire had spread to other parts of the compound.”
The deceased were children of Elohor Lucky and her sister, whose name was simply given as Ufuoma. Both were not at home when the tragedy struck.
Reacting to the development, chairman of Igbudu Community, Oyiboaga Ogheneovo claimed that Wealth’s mother, Ufuoma, purposely set the compound on fire to deprive her baby’s father, Harrison Enorke, from taking custody of the child.
According to him, Mr. Enorke has been seeking custody of the child, but the mother had refused him.
“I am suspecting that they turned fuel around and lit fire in that house. If you say it’s candle, I am suspecting something very different.
“From all what the boy is saying, I understand that the girl is involved in the death of the young man. She intentionally set the fire for that young man to be burnt to death because she did not want to release that child to the young man (father),” he stated.
Describing the incident as an “injury” to all members of the community, Ogheneovo called on security agencies to thoroughly investigate the matter to ensure that there was no foul play. He also urged residents in the area to take extra care while using candlesticks at such times of the night.
Meanwhile, Ufuoma, mother of the younger deceased child has been arrested by men of the Nigerian Police Force “A” Division, Warri, who had earlier removed the remains of the deceased children.