Clement Adeyi, Osogbo
Tragedy struck in Ikire, Ayedaade Local Government Area of Osun State Thursday when a fire outbreak claimed the life of the Chairman of the Nigerian Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE), Mr. Tajudeen Alabi.
Daily Sun gathered that the local government administrator was burned to death when the fire outbreak, caused by a power surge, engulfed a line up of shops attached to his house in the early hours of Thursday, February 1, along Odeyinka Road in Oteyemi area in Ikire Town.
Alabi was said to have died immediately during the fire incident, while his belongings, worth millions of naira, were destroyed in the inferno that lasted hours.
An eye witness said the deceased was taken unawares by the fire that broke out suddenly while everybody was asleep, and that he could not escape due to the heavy smoke that had engulfed the shops and his house.
A resident, who identified himself as Yinka, said the fire started around 1.00 am on Thursday, due to a power surge.
We gathered that at the time of incident it was difficult for residents to call in the fire service, leaving only concerned youths of the area to extinguish the inferno with water.
“We were all asleep when they brought light around 1.00 am [Thursday] morning. We heard people screaming and shouting for help. When we woke up, we discovered that it was a fire outbreak. Like a dream, several shops in the area were on fire. But the locked-up shops and the house of the government official who got burnt to death hindered us from getting close to the scene,” Alabi said.
“Initially, we thought it was something else, but when we saw smoke we forced the door of the house open after the boys in the area had poured water to quench the fire.”
“But before then, the deceased had already been burnt to death in the inferno,” the witness said.
Former Executive Secretary of the Ayedaade Local Government Area, Oduwole Iyanda, described the incident as unfortunate.
He said the late NULGE chairman was nice, loving and very jovial.
He charged the people of the state to always be cautious of fire, stressing that they be careful with their electrical appliances, advising that they put switch them off before going to bed.