Residents of Ilara Community in Ogijo area of Sagamu Local Government Area of Ogun State are still reeling in shock following the death of a couple and their five children.
The couple and their five children died after sustaining injuries from a generator explosion.
Four among the children were two sets of twins.
The couple actually has six children and the six were trapped in their apartment, where the generator exploded, but only one survived.
The head of the family, Adeshina Sikiru, was said to have caused the explosion, which killed his wife and five children.
Sikiru, while returning from his place of work, reckoned there wouldn’t be power supply and thus bought fuel in a nylon bag.
Just as he had suspected, when he got home, there was no power supply.
He went into his house and proceeded to pour the fuel into the generator, while his wife, Kemi was cooking nearby.
The fuel spilled and streamed to where Kemi was cooking, and within a twinkle of an eye, the stove and generator exploded.
The horrifying explosion, which occurred on October 27, at about 9pm, left residents gasping in shock.
It is one disturbing incident and gory sights they would never forget in a hurry.
Our correspondent, who visited the community on Monday, discovered that most of the people were yet to get over their shock.
The best friend of late Kemi, who simply identified herself as Mrs. Adewale, disclosed that since the incident, she had been tormented by nightmares.
According to her, it was not up to an hour she left Kemi’s house, when she heard the explosion.
Adewale, who spoke in a voice thick with emotion, recounted: “On the fateful day of the incident, Kemi and I went to visit a widow.
“When we left the widow’s house, she said she was going to a party; that I should look after her home and children.
“When I got to their home, Fathia, her eldest daughter, was not at home.
“Their second child, Saheed, told me she went to plait her hair.
“I prepared food and we all ate.
“When I realized it was getting late, I went out, intending to go and look for Fathia.
“As I got outside, a motorcycle brought her and we both returned to their apartment.
“When Kemi didn’t return on time, I called her phone line.
“She said that she was already at the bus stop waiting for motorcycle.
“About 30 minutes later, she arrived.
“We both sat in an uncompleted building, chatting until her husband arrived.
“I left and went to my house.
“About an hour or less than that later, I heard a loud noise from their apartment.
“I was listening to a programme on radio when I heard another cry from a woman.
“I immediately dashed out of my house.
“When I got outside, I saw thick smoke billowing.
“Before I could get to their house, rescuers had brought out Fathia and the little Kehinde.
“They were both totally burnt, but breathing.
“Somebody volunteered his car to rush them to hospital.
“I was with little Kehinde at the hospital when she gave up the ghost.
“I’m still in shock.
“The family and I were together on that day and just within an hour, they were all gone!
“I have not been able to sleep since then.
“Each time I close my eyes, I see the children, even in my dreams.
“It will take time before that incident would be erased off my mind.
“The woman was close to me.”
The Community Development Association Chairman, Michael Adeagbo, described the incident as “unfortunate.”
Adeagbo explained that none availability of power supply in the community usually forces majority of them to make use of generating sets.
He said because many were used to the constant blackout, whenever they were returning from work, they would buy fuel in a nylon bag or a gallon for their generators.
This was exactly the scenario that played out on that fateful Sunday, leading to the death of seven family members.
Adeagbo said: “Immediately he got home, his four twin children, who had been waiting for his arrival, rushed out to welcome him.
“They all went into their apartment.
“He locked their iron door from inside and went to the lobby to refill the generator.
“The distance from where Sikiru was pouring the fuel into the generator was about five meters away from where his wife was cooking on a stove.
“While pouring the fuel, it spilled and flowed to where his wife was cooking.
“The next thing was a loud explosion from their apartment.
“It was neighbours that were closest to them that raised the alarm.”
Adeagbo said immediately they heard the explosion and alarm, everyone made a beeline for the direction of the Sikirus’ burning house.
They tried to rescue the couple and their children, but the door was firmly locked from the inside.
Adeagbo recalled: “When we tried to enter into their apartment, the door was locked from inside.
“When we couldn’t go through the door, we forced our way through the window.
“I was shocked to discover that three of their children had died.
“We believe that Sikiru locked the door because he brought some money home.
“He didn’t want robbers to come into his house to rob him of the money.
“The wife, Kemi, their first daughter, Fathia, and four-year-old Kehinde were rescued through the window.
“The three of them were quickly rushed to a private hospital in Ikorodu.”
Adeagbo said when they got to the hospital, the three patients were rejected and referred to Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Idi-Araba, Mushin.
When they got to LUTH, they were told there was no bed space.
They then drove to Gbagada General Hospital, where they were admitted.
The residents were plunged into mourning the following morning when they received a phone call from the hospital that Fathia and Kehinde had died.
While this was going on, Sikiru had also been rescued from inside the toilet where he went to hide.
“He was badly burnt to the extent that we couldn’t touch him. We were able to rescue their second child, Saheed, from where he was hiding unhurt,” said Adeagbo.
The CDA chairman added that while some people were at the hospital making efforts to save the life of the wife, those of them at home were also making effort to take Sikiru to Gbagada General Hospital.
The chairman said: “We later got to the hospital around 2am.
“He was admitted and given treatment.
“I was shocked when I received a phone call that Sikiru had died on Wednesday, October 30.
“We were taking his remains home for burial, and were already at Ogijo when we received another phone call from the hospital that his wife had given up the ghost.
“That was how we made a U-turn, returned to the hospital to evacuate the remains of the wife.
“We buried the two of them close to each other on the same day in their house.
“We have handed over the surviving son to their relatives.
“We’re appealing to wealthy individuals and government to help the boy.”
A resident, Saheed Are, said when he heard a noise coming from the direction of Sikiru’s house, he had initially thought the couple was fighting.
It was when he stepped out that he realised their house was on fire.
He recalled: “When I sighted the fire, I rushed to the door, thinking to wrest it open, but it burnt me.
“I was the first person that got to the scene.
“When I couldn’t rescue them alone, I started screaming, calling on other neighbours to come and help.
“When we finally gained access into their sitting room, it was through the window.
“Three of the children were already dead.
“Their bodies were on the floor of the sitting room.
“Kemi gave birth to twins twice.
“I was shouting that Sikiru should come out, that was when I saw Fathia and Kehinde lying on a sofa.
“They were still breathing; we rushed them to hospital.
“The cloth the deceased wore when he was pouring the fuel into the generator got burnt beyond recognition.
“As a community, we made efforts to save their lives but God knows best.
“Since I have been living in this community, we have not witnessed this sort of incident before.
“We’re still in shock.”
Another resident, Ajibade Aremu, noted that it was only God that knew why a family of seven died in such a manner.
Aremu said: “On the fateful day of the incident, when I heard the explosion, I thought it was oil bunkerers.
“It was when I came out that I saw people running towards the house of the Adeshinas.
“When I eventually got to the scene, after seeing the remains of the children in the fire, I couldn’t bear it.
“I decided to leave the house because they were lovely children.
“The fire that wiped out father, mother and five children is shocking.
“Since I was born, I have not witnessed such an incident in my entire life.”
Temitope Olalere, whose building was close to the deceased’s house, said when she saw the fire, she thought it was explosion from oil bunkerers, unaware that it was the Adeshinas house that was on fire.
Olalere said: “It was the shout of Kemi, screaming for help that woke me.
“That was how she came to join Saheed to call on other neighbours so as to rescue them all.”