It was a double tragedy for one family who lost their kin while going to help put out a fire which started on Wednesday at around 8.00 pm in Kaplolo village along the Uasin Gishu-Elgeyo Marakwet boundary.
The deceased was riding a motorbike with two of his friends before ramming into a stationary tractor and died on the spot while the other two were rushed to hospital in critical condition.
Property worth millions of shillings was destroyed by the fierce fire.
Over 21 families were affected, whereby, locals took several hours to put off with the affected families being forced to seek refuge from neighbours and well-wishers throughout the night as most of their properties were burnt to ashes.
The fire is suspected to have started from one of the houses, before spreading to the business premises nearby.
Peter Kibor, a village elder said the fire spread fast because of a fierce wind that was experienced during the night and called on the leaders and officials involved to help the affected families.
“We are appealing to the government to assist us help the affected because they lost their belongings including farm produce,” said Kibor. He also thanked firefighters from Eldoret who rushed to help put off the inferno.
Mrs. Tabitha Msee said she was attracted by the noises outside, and on coming out she found her neighbour’s house on fire and appealed for help from well-wishers and the government since they have children who lost their uniforms and books.
“We are appealing for assistance from the county government since we have children and all their uniforms and books were burnt during the incident. We need to see how we are going to survive and even how the children will go to school,” said Msee.
Micah Chepkiren, a business person was overwhelmed by emotions as he reminisced how his belongings were razed to ashes. “I lost everything! I lost property worth over Sh 500, 000, nine bags of beans, nine bags of maize, and seven bags of potatoes, I tried to put off the fire but it was impossible,” he said.
The residents want the county government to invest in fire stations in every sub-county so that they can respond swiftly in case of an emergency.
By Alice Wanjiru and Allan Bwire