Woe swept over a family in Tundun Tanda, in the Hadejia Local Government Area of Jigawa State after fire broke out from a burning mosquito coil and killed triplets and their brother.
The triplets were identified as Hassan Sule, Hussain Sule, and Muhusin Sule, aged five; their brother was identified as Danladi Sule.
While the state fire service put Dandladi’s age at five months, the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps said he was two-year-old.
NationReformer.com learnt that the victims’ parents had lit a mosquito coil and placed it beside a mattress on which the children slept.
It was gathered that the coil burnt out into the mattress, leading to the outbreak of fire.
Their parents were also said to have sustained injuries from the fire.
Residents were reported to have rallied round the family to put out the fire, without informing men of the state fire service.
Our correspondent was told that the children were rescued with severe burns and rushed to a hospital in the town for treatment.
They died from the injuries.
The Public Relations Officer, Jigawa State Fire Service, Lawan Gagarawa said several valuables were also destroyed by the fire which started around 10pm on Saturday.
He, however, said the burning coil ignited a mosquito net used to cover the children, adding that the agency became aware of the incident on Sunday.
He said, “A fire involving a house occupied by one Alhaji Sule Mohammed located at Tudun Tanda Quarters, Hadejia town, on Saturday around 10pm affected a set of triplets of five years and a baby of about five months old, namely Hassan, Hussaini, Muhusin and Danladi.
“The fire was said to have originated from a burning mosquito coil which ignited a net in which the children were sleeping. As such, four children were killed and property worth thousands of naira was destroyed by the fire.
“I appeal to members of the public to report any emergency case before it escalates to an uncontrollable stage.”
The Jigawa State Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Abdu Jinjiri, who also confirmed the incident, said the police had a record of three fatalities.
He said, “The report we got was that the fire started from a mosquito coil. The burning coil fell on the mattress the triplets slept on and started the fire. The fire started around 10pm. The triplets were rushed to a hospital by the police, but they died while receiving treatment.”
But the spokesman for the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps in the state, Mr. Adamu Shehu, told the News Agency of Nigeria that the fire was caused by a spark from an electrical appliance.
He said, “The fire caused the death of four children. It also consumed property worth thousands of naira.
“We suspect that the fire was caused by an electric spark from a water boiler. The public should exercise caution when handling electrical appliances, particularly during the harmattan, to forestall fire incidents.”