A senior lecturer with the National Open University of Nigeria, Dr Jumoke Odeyemi, has been killed in a fire that gutted her apartment in the Ketu area of Lagos State.
Odeyemi, who joined NOUN in 2009, had a doctorate in Adult and Continuing Education from the University of Ibadan, where she also had her bachelor’s degree in Language and Literacy and master’s degree in Education.
She reportedly got married four years ago and had yet to have a child with her United States-based husband.
Punch Metro gathered that she was asleep at her residence on Jemigbon Street, Apollo Estate, Ketu on Thursday when power was restored around 2am.
The victim had reportedly bought a 30-litre fuel the previous day which she kept in her balcony.
It was gathered that as soon as power was restored, there was a spark which reportedly caught a mosquito net in the two-bedroomed flat, leading to the fire.
Residents said they were awoken by the victim’s call for help, adding that in the twinkling of an eye, the fire reached the jerrycan of petrol and exploded.
The deployment of operatives of the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency and more than five water trucks from two fire stations in the area did not save the don from death.
She was reportedly burnt beyond recognition and her remains deposited in a morgue.
When Punch Metro visited the house, smokes were emanating from Odeyemi’s apartment and were still billowing as of 4pm when our correspondent left the area.
The government had, however, closed down the building.
A tenant, who was spotted putting what remained of his property into a car, said he had just renewed his rent when the incident happened.
He said, “The fire started around 2am when power was restored. There was a spark in her meter. It was the spark that caught a mosquito net in her house which made the fire to spread.
“There was a lot of burglar-proof bars in her house and it was hard saving her.”
A security guard on the estate explained that they got an alert about the fire and informed the Lagos State Fire Service.
He said, “The fire was just too intense. It raged for more than four hours.”
Residents said Odeyemi, who had been living on the estate for more than seven years, stayed alone in the house.
“Although her husband stays in the US, he visited her periodically. They have been married for four years without a child. She was a gentle and quiet person,” a resident, who did not identify himself, said.