A bizarre incident which left residents stunned occurred two weeks ago, at Ojodu Street, in the densely populated Ajegunle area of Lagos, after a man, Buraimo Sunday, 30, and his pregnant lover identified simply as Bose, were burnt to death in their one-room apartment.
The live-in lovers said to have been dating for five years, were reportedly planning to solidify their relationship early next year, when the unexpected happened.
The lovebirds were inside their apartment, watching a movie on the television that penultimate evening, when a boy reportedly kicked a jerrican half filled with fuel, on the veranda.
The combustive substance spilled on a cooking gas belonging to one of the tenants that was lighted, thereby resulting in an inferno.
The fire, according to a tenant, caught the curtains of the owner of the gas cooker, spreading to the ceiling, with everyone scurrying out of their apartments for safety.
Crime Alert learned that by the time the lovebirds were alerted, the fire had engulfed the entire passage, with thick smoke billowing.
Futile efforts to escape
A resident, who gave his name simply as Simeon, explained that “Sunday made every effort to open the door but its handle was stiff.
He went to the burglary proof of the window, shook it vigorously, in an attempt to pull it off, yet it did not give way. We were screaming and encouraging him to pull harder, as we watched them from the window.
Two men, who tried to break the burglary proof of the window from outside later, retreated when it became too hot to hold. Even in the face of death, Sunday was begging us to try and save Bose.
At a point, Bose began to cough. Sunday held her and bade us goodbye, as the fire engulfed them.”
The charred remains of Sunday and Bose were buried next day at Atan Cemetery, Yaba, with residents wailing and giving different accounts as to how tragedy befell the duo.
Some of the tenants who were rendered homeless by the fire lamented their loss but were quick to appreciate God for not losing their lives. One of them, Johnson, said, “Sunday and Bose could have survived had the door opened when he tried to escape through it. When I heard the explosion, I thought it was from his air conditioner.
It was the Divisional Police Officer at Tolu Police Station, CSP Udom, that led a team of policemen to the scene from where he called fire fighters. But by the time they arrived, it was too late.”
Late Sunday’s immediate younger brother, Alfred, explained that the deceased visited his barbing salon same day to have his hair cut. He said: “He even promised to buy a power generating set for me next day when I told him the one I was using was borrowed. He did not live to fulfill his promise, no thanks to the fire incident.”
Continuing, the Edo state- born sibling revealed that “as it is now, I am the only surviving child of our parents. Our father died long ago, while our mother travelled to the United States of America 19 years ago. I take solace in my late brother and looked up to him as a father. Today, I am fatherless with no brother.”
As if losing a brother was not enough psychological and emotional trauma for Alfred, he revealed that the family of his late brother ’s lover were demanding for proper burial rites for her.
He said: “How can I do such a burial? My brother did not marry her and had no child with her. Besides, they were not married. They met each other back in school and had been living together until the tragedy occurred”.