Twelve members of the family of Alhaji Ahmed Kabiru Boss, a former oil marketing company worker, died late Wednesday in a fire outbreak in their house at Chiranchin Gabas quarters in Kumbotso Local Government Area of Kano State. The dead include four women and eight children. Their remains were buried yesterday around 12:45pm at Dandolo cemetery in Goron Dutse area of the state.
Although all the victims died in the fire, their bodies were still rushed to the Murtala Mohammed Specialist Hospital where they were certified dead by doctors and later deposited at the hospital’s morgue.
Family sources said the fire started from the kitchen around 11:15pm and spread to the adjoining room where the family members were chatting as others were asleep.
Daily Trust learnt that members of the family gathered at the house to attend the naming ceremony of a new born baby. The baby, named Umar, escaped the fire after being thrown out by his mother, Zainab, who was among the victims.
Zainab’s mother, Hajiya Hajara Nafada, came from Gombe alongside other family members for the naming ceremony which took place Saturday. The visiting family members would have returned to Gombe yesterday.
According to a witness, Auwalu Mustapha, when the fire broke out, the neighbours gathered and started a rescue operation. He said the victims were yelling for help but they could not be rescued because of the burglary proof attached to the windows.
“Because of the size of the baby, Zainab pushed him through the window to us and remained there to die since she could not escape,” Mustapha, a neighbor, said.
The witness told our correspondent that when the fire was successfully put out, the remains of the nursing mother were found with her children and mother. “When we put out the fire, we found Zainab’s body glued to her children and mother. She might have cuddled them around her,” he said.
Another witness, Abdulsalam Mohammed, said when fire fighters arrived the scene, neighbours had almost stopped the fire. He added that because of the poor access road to the area, fire service vehicles found it difficult to reach the scene on time.
According to the head of the family, Alhaji Ahmed Kabiru Boss, his wife, Zainab Ahmed Baba, his mother in-law, Hajiya Hajara Nafada, his sister in-law Halima and his daughter, Hauwa, were the adult casualties, while his four children, Usman, Aisha, Fatima and another three-year-old and four other relatives were the minors that burnt to death.
The bereaved said further that one of his children and one other woman jumped down from the upstairs unhurt. “When the boy yelled for help and he jumped down, I held him down and then another woman also cried out: ‘Baba Fatima hold me down’, I also helped her down. But when I forced open the door to rescue the rest, the fire roared back and forced me down,” he said.
The state Commissioner of Police Mohammed Gana who was among the hundreds of people who attended the funeral prayer, prayed for the repose of the souls of the deceased. He said the burglary proof attached to the windows inhibited the rescue operation. Kano State Governor Ibrahim Shekarau was also at the house of the bereaved to sympathize with them. After the weeping head of the family narrated to the governor how the incident occurred, the governor prayed for the repose of the souls of the deceased and for the bereaved to have the fortitude to bear the losses.
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