Kisii: Mother and three children die in a night fire

Onlookers at the scene of the fire.

Photo credit: Ruth Mbula | Nation Media Group

Tragedy struck a village in Kisii County after a woman, her two children and a niece were burnt to death in their sleep.

Residents of Bonyando village in Bonchari constituency woke up to the shocking news of the mysterious fire that burnt the three beyond recognition.

The incident, which occurred at 11pm on Wednesday night, left the village in a state of shock, with wailing and screaming filling the air for most of Thursday.

Hundreds of people thronged the village, some from as far as Kisii town and Suneka township, to witness the incident that almost wiped out an entire family.

The man of the house, Richard Juma, and his six-month-old son were rescued by neighbours after they managed to break a window.

Juma is a timber trader and is well known in his village and beyond.

Mrs Caroline Nyaboke (28), her two children aged nine and four, and her 10-year-old niece all died in the overnight inferno, the cause of which is yet to be established.

Kisii South Sub County Police Commander Mr Charles Machinji said investigations into the incident had begun to establish whether the fire was accidental or arson.

"We are yet to establish the real cause of the fire. Just give us time, the truth will be known," the police chief said.

Neighbours want the police to conduct a thorough investigation into the incident.

"There was no electricity in the whole village at the time of the incident. The fire started in the children's room. Strangely, the gas, motorbike and other household items in the house were still intact," said Mr John Ayiega, a relative.

He said the woman was found unconscious and had not suffered extensive burns like the children.

"We rushed her to Nyangena Hospital but she was pronounced dead on arrival. She may have inhaled a lot of smoke," Mr Ayiega said.

The six-month-old baby and his father are recovering at Kisii Teaching and Referral Hospital and are said to be in a stable condition.