Members of the family of Deaf couple in Imo state who sustained severe degrees of injury from a fire explosion on the evening of Sunday, June 28, 2020 have received some donation from Deaf groups in Nigeria and in the diaspora.
Inclusive News Network (INN) investigation reveals that the first child of the couple sustained 90 percent degrees of burn from the incident and the family did not have the financial wherewithal to get the child treated in a hospital and had to settle for herbal medicine which did not help matters.
Our investigation reveals that one of the victims, Mrs. Chinyere Igbokwe, a 28-year-old full house wife on the evening of the incident had filled their lantern with kerosene, one of the couple bought from a hawker pushing a wheelbarrow on the street close to their area in Isiala Mbano Local Government Area of Imo state, to light the house so that she could continue with her house duties.
The fire exploded immediate she struck the match stick, causing serious degrees of burns on the mother and some of her children.
Two of her sons had to jump out of the window immediate to save themselves and quickly rushed to get water to quench the fire. Her husband was at a safe side of the house, and escaped unhurt.
The second daughter got minor injuries and was rushed to a nearby hospital for treatment.
Our source reveals that the explosion occurred as the kerosene was said to have been adulterated with petrol by the hawkers.
“It was adulterated kerosene that was allegedly mixed with petrol. It was poured into lantern lamp. It outburst when a match was struck,” the source said.
Chinyere, a mother of four was heavily pregnant at the time and gave birth to a bouncing baby boy on the 8th day of July, barely 11 days after the incident.
INN also gathered that they were immediately taken to the Isiala Mbano Joint Hospital, for first aid treatment, and later taken to Orlu Teaching Hospital where they received further treatment from the burns and were asked to pay a sum of ₦120, 000, before being attended to.
“We spent three days in that hospital, and when we exhausted all our money, they discharged us, and we went home, and resorted to traditional treatments.” Chinyere said.
Since giving birth to her new baby 11 days later, Chinyere has not been able to breastfeed her child because the fire had burnt part of her body including her nipples.
She had to resort to feeding her new born baby with baby formula.
Reports reaching INN shows that though the mother is now responding to treatment, her daughter who sustained 90 percent degree of burn can’t still stand or move.
“She cries so much, as a result of the pains sustained from the injuries,” a source said.
Since the incident, donations from donors and foundations have been pouring in from various sources. An account was created on Facebook for this purpose and several people from different quarters have been showing concern, one way or the other.
Respite however came their way on Friday, 17 July, when leaders from Deaf Women Association of Nigeria (DWAN) and Nigeria National Association of the Deaf (NNAD) headquarters led by Southeast National Deaf Association paid a visit to the victims.
Among those on the visit include the out-going Imo State Deaf Women Leader, Hon. Chizoba Ihugba, Hon. (Mrs) Blessing Uwakwe, the zonal south east deputy president, and Hon. Chijioke Oguala, the assistant secretary general.
The group after interviewing the victims on the fire incident, handed over a sum of over ₦310,500 donated by Deaf groups in Nigeria and Diasporas and advised the mother to use the money for her treatments, her daughter inclusive.
The group also prayed for their recovery and promised to visit the victims with additional donations from donors.
Chinyere and her family were thanking them profusely as they received the money.
INN learnt that one Mr. Obioma Foundation is presently building a house for her family to live closer to where she presently lives.
Imo state Deaf Women Leader Chizoba Ihugba, in a chat with INN said “she (Chinyere) just put to bed in her house, her nipples are burnt, she need baby food, and clothes, also money, food stuff. But, no help will be rejected; whatever you give them will be appreciated”.