By Samuel Oyadongha
Yenagoaâ€”The celebration by residents of Edepie suburb of Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, in the wake of Golden Eagletâ€™s victory over Honduras in the ongoing FIFA under 17 World Cup, was cut short Tuesday, as two kids were burnt to death, following a fire that engulfed their apartment.
Their father, Vanguard learnt, was away in a neighbouring community to see a friend and ended up watching the match there.
The deceased children, a girl and a boy, identified as Favour and Anointed, aged eight and six respectively, were said to have died of suffocation before neighbours could break into the house to rescue them.
It was learnt that the tragic incident occurred about 9 pm following a blackout in the neighbourhood.
According to witnesses, the inferno, caused by a lit candle left on a television set,Â razed the one room apartment.
The bereaved father, Oyenso Obi, from Ogbia local government, is yet to come to terms with the tragedy.
Obi said he left the house while the two kids were in bed, not knowing that would be the last time he would see them alive.
The disillusioned man noted with sadness that there was power outage in the entire neighbourhood, adding that he had to light a candle to illuminate the room not knowing that would be his greatest undoing.
â€œI escorted a friend to his house and in the process ended up watching Nigeria’s match against Honduras. All the period that the match lasted, I wasnâ€™t myself, as my inner man kept telling me that something disastrous was about to happen but I had no reason to relate it to my children. I left them hale and hearty in the house,â€ he lamented.
While Obi was struggling, trying to put aside the evil thought and concentrate on the match, he never knew his entire apartment was on fire and his two kids trapped in the inferno.
â€œMy children struggled till they died. I could see traces of their struggling, as two of them were found close to the door,â€ he said sobbing.
The mother of the two kids was in shock as she could not mutter a word.