Tragedy struck on Christmas Day in Aba, the commercial hub of Abia State when fire burnt a blind woman to death and razed a house in the Ogbor Hill axis of the city. The fire, which was said to have started from one of the back rooms of one of the buildings at 64/95 Ikot Ekpene Road at about 4.45pm on Christmas Day when most occupants went out, was suspected to have been caused by electrical fault.
Daily Sun gathered that the blind woman, in her early 70s who was staying with one of her daughters was alone in the room when the fire started as her daughter was reported to have gone out to make some purchases. Efforts were said to have been made to contact the daughter to come back and probably open the door of her apartment to rescue the woman.
When the daughter and other relations came back and people rushed in to rescue her, the woman could not be seen and the thinking then was that she might have managed to escape from the raging fire. But they didn’t know that as the fire was raging, instead of coming out to safety, the woman who had no guide was said to be moving closer to the fire and she was burnt to death. When the daughter and other relations could not see her after the fire incident and throughout the night, they thought she might have been rescued and kept in a safe place by some good Nigerians but they didn’t know that their mother and grandmother was consumed in the inferno until the following morning when they were clearing the rubble and found her body.
An occupant of the building, Chiemela Amaji whose belongings were completely destroyed by the fire said he went to see a friend when it started. Amaji said his wife who was sleeping when the fire broke out could have been one of the casualties if not for neighbours who came in on time and promptly woke her up before the fire got to their apartment. Fire Service men could not prevent the damage as they were reported to have arrived the scene late, when the building was almost completely gutted.
When Daily Sun visited the burnt building for the second time, relations and neighbours were seen making frantic efforts to remove the corpse of the septuagenarian to the mortuary as her daughter she lived with until her death was seen weeping uncontrollably.