Residents of No 17 Lolo Uronne Street, off Fear God Street, Asaba are still counting their losses, after the one-storey building went aflame in Oshimili south local government area of Delta state.
Trouble started about 9:00pm on Friday when a 14-year-old stepdaughter (name withheld), to one of the occupants purportedly lit a candlestick and carelessly left it close to where fuel containers belonging to tenants were kept.
It could not be ascertained whether the candlestick fell on the fuel cans which resulted into the inferno that destroyed vital documents and undisclosed sum of monies in the apartment of residents.
Our source disclosed that it took the timely response of the state fire service to put out the raging fire about 10:00pm, but the harm had already been done.
It was learnt that the stepmother to the 14-year-old girl who is heavily pregnant and other affected neighbours lost their belongings apart from the clothes on them when the inferno occurred including baby items bought awaiting her delivery.
It was gathered that at the time of the inferno, the stepmother and her 3 and 5 years old kids stepped out to see a friend.
It was learnt that some occupants got fire burns and are receiving treatment while others got discharged on Saturday 28 November 2020.
It was gathered that the 14-year-old girl who is currently detained at the ‘B’ Divisional Police Station in Asaba, allegedly confessed to have lit the candlestick which caused the fire disaster.
It was learnt that the police who invited other occupants drilled them to get information on how to fire started but none could give details.
It was learnt that the girl’s continued detention is a result of unavailability of someone to stand as surety for her release as her father works in Port Harcourt and only comes home during his leave time.
The parents and other affected occupants of the building have called on the local government council, well-meaning individuals and the state government to come to their aid, as they are left with nothing to fall back to and are currently homeless.
It was gathered that the landlord who reported the inferno, is purportedly demanding a repair of his property by the father of the little girl.
Meanwhile, findings have revealed that few weeks ago, the stepmother, was able to secure a school to get the little girl admitted after she passed her placement/cognitive examination but due to paucity of funds, they have not been able to pay the fees, to enable her get admitted into Junior Secondary School (JSS1).
Contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), DSP Onome Onovwakpoyeya, who confirmed the fire disaster disclosed the arrest of the girl.
Hear her: “Yes, it was this afternoon and the DPO said the journalist that is coming for her bail is not possible. A relation of the girl should come and the stepmother said she is not pleased with what happened because her properties also got burnt.
“But we cannot just let the girl go. So, nobody has come for her that is why they have not released her. Because the stepmom who is the closest person to her is right now angry with her and left her in the station.
“They have also called her pastor but that he just returned from a trip or something. So, anytime he shows up, they will release the girl for him so that anytime they needs the girl’s attention, somebody should be able to produce her”, he explained.