When a candle burns all your hopes, and your children


What was to be a get-together to congratulate the four children who were burnt alive on Friday on shifting to their new home, turned out to be a funeral, all because of a candle that was lighted in the absence of electricity. Two brothers and their two sisters were buried in their father’s native home town Okara on Saturday as their parents could not restore themselves from the shock yet.
The mother, Bilqees Bibi, who had also sustained burn injuries, was said to be recovering from burn wounds but was still in the trauma of seeing her kids dying in front of her eyes.
The two brothers, 7-year-old Faraz and 1.5-year-old Ali Sher, and their sisters, 4-year-old Kainat and 5-year-old Malaika, were burnt alive on Friday evening. The father of the children, police Constable Sarfaraz was appointed in the Police Line Tipu Company since last two years and was staying in a rented house near Bibi Pakdaman in Qila Gujjar Singh police limits with his wife and four children. The family had bought a 2-Marlas plot in Baghbanpura a few years ago and had had made huge sacrifices to construct their house. The construction had completed a few days ago and Sarfaraz planned to shift to the new house on the eve of the New Year. He had invited guests from his family and friends for a party in the celebrations of newly-constructed house.
A day before shifting, Sarfaraz left for his duty and locked the house from outside as usual. His wife lit the candle when power supply was disconnected during the load shedding hours. The misfortune of the family started when the candle fell and the sofas caught fire. Soon the entire room caught fire but nothing could be done since the room was locked from outside. The neighbours informed Rescue-1122 after seeing the fire but it was too late to rescue any of four kids. Bilqees Bibi however survived with some burn injuries and was shifted to hospital for the treatment. After being informed about the incident, Sarfaraz rushed to rescue his family but could only receive the dead bodies of his innocent children.
Taking his injured wife and burnt bodies of four children, he left for the native village near Okara where the deceased were buried with sorrow and sadness.