Couple cry for help as fire burns 13-year-old son in Enugu

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A couple based in Enugu State, Mr and Mrs Chukwuma Okaria have cried out to the government and good-spirited individuals for help as their son, Chukwuzitere, is battling for life at National Orthopedic Hospital, Enugu.

It was gathered that Chukwuzitere, an SSI student of Uwani Boys Secondary School, Enugu, had left the house on December 26, 2022, with a few of his friends, but little did he know that life would turn around for him in such a harsh way.

His devastated father told journalists that he was away working when he received a call that something was wrong at home.

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“My wife called me and was crying on the phone, that Chukwuzitere is in danger. I just ended the call and ran home. When I got to the house, I saw that my son had been burnt by fire, he was in pain, he could not talk.

“We rushed him to the Orthopedic Hospital, Enugu, where he was admitted to the Emergency Unit. By God’s grace, he is out of the ICU, and is now at the ward in the hospital.”

On what led to the incident, Chukwuma said eyewitnesses revealed that a child of another neighbour threw a knockout on him while he was putting on a masquerade attire and entertaining people during Boxing Day at Chief Ekwueme Street, in Uwani, Enugu.

“I was told that as soon as he threw the knockout on him, it exploded and burst into flames. My son started running with the fire, looking for help until he fell down.

“I learnt that people who saw what was happening were chasing him with buckets of water. However, by the time the fire was quenched, the entire masquerade clothes were burnt completely on his body. He was totally burnt.”

Although he expressed gratitude to God that his son is still alive, Chukwuma said the medical bill was now too much on the family.

“Apart from the bill that was given to us when we left the Emergency Unit, we have been paying N20,000 every two days for dressing. This is excluding the money for drugs.

“It is too much on me and my wife. I do menial jobs, while my wife runs a tea and bread fast-food joint at Eze Street, Uwani. We are now completely drained, we are confused right now.

“Our appeal to the government and good-spirited Nigerians is to please come to our aid and save my son. We need financial help, no amount is too small. We are still at the ward of the Orthopedic Hospital, Enugu.”

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