Two people have died while a third person is nursing injuries at a city hospital after a fire burnt houses in Mukuru Fuata Nyayo “A” slum in Nairobi.
The weekend fire incident, which was confirmed by Makadara police boss Timon Odingo, also left some 131 families in the cold.
Mr Odingo said that the fire was suspected to have been caused by a candle that was left burning, adding that electricity distributor Kenya Power had launched an investigation.
"Although there was no electricity in the said slum, KPLC will investigate further to determine whether there were people connecting power illegally during the incident since a transformer serving the slum was earlier unmounted by KPLC officials," Mr Odingo said.
Those who died in the fire were identified as Melvin Anyona aged seven and Mr James Atambo, aged 40.
Saddened by loss
Melvin’s father, Mr Caleb Njairo, who works as a carpenter, said he was saddened to lose his daughter in the tragedy. He said he has lived in the slum for the last two-and-a-half years.
He added that all his belongings, which he had managed to salvage, were all looted, leaving him and his wife with only the clothes they were wearing.
Mr Atamo’s elder brother, Samson Atambo, said he had a good time with him in the evening before the tragedy struck.
“My younger brother had visited me during the evening before the tragedy. We had a great time, not knowing what would happen next. He told me he had plans to return to our rural home to start a new life following unemployment after the Covid-19 pandemic disrupted the economy," Mr Atambo remarked.
The slum’s security chairman, Mr Moses Mavesi, told the Nation that the fire started around 12.30am Sunday.
"The fire started at the house of the late Mr Atambo who lived with another man who escaped death by a whisker. The deceased collapsed after smoke engulfed him as his body was burnt by flames. His colleague managed to jump into the Ngong River and fortunately did not get hurt,” said Mr Mavesi.
He called on the government to build roads in the slum to ensure quick response during emergencies.
Nairobi County firefighters eventually extinguished the blaze, though they had a difficult time trying to access the area due to congestion of shanties.
Victims of the fire have appeal for help from well-wishers as they start life afresh.