It was a sad Christmas day celebration for the Ofomata family residing at Umuele Umudim, Nnewi, Anambra State as a fire outbreak at their three-bedroom apartment roasted four of their children-Chioma Ofomata, 6, Goodness& Mercy Ofomata who were twins, 3, and Ifeoma, 2, to death.
According to reports, the mother of the 4 girls had locked her children in the house and had gone over to the community center to collect her share of Christmas rice meant for widows in the community when the fire started.
Residents in the area were not quick to notice the fire or hear the cry for help from the children until they started seeing thick smoke coming from their apartment. By the time the door to their house was broken down, only the charred remains of the four girls were found.
Their father, 57 year old Mr Ofoamata, a vulcanizer, said he was at his shop with his two sons, Kosy, 8, and Ebuka, 5 when the incident happened. He said he got to know of the unfortunate incident when edhe returned home at about 6pm and saw people gather at his compound with smoke coming from his apartment. He said his wife never told him she was going out to collect any rice.
While giving her account of what happened, mrs Ofomata said she locked her children in their apartment so as to restrict their movement and that the day of the incident wasn’t the first time she would lock them in. She denied claims that the rice she went to collect was actually meant for widows
“The rice was meant for everybody, not widows alone. If you like go and find out. I don’t know what caused the fire,” she said
The remains of the little children have been deposited at the mortuary.