Tragedy struck a village in Laikipia County after a man and his two daughters died Wednesday in a house fire that he allegedly started following a domestic row with his wife.
Neighbours who were left in shock said that Joseph Mburu 42, set his house on fire by dousing it with petrol from a jerrycan he brought home after a bitter quarrel with his wife at around 9.00 pm on the material night.
Neighbours said that the family had been embroiled in domestic disputes over a long period that often resulted to physical confrontation between Mburu and his 32-year-old wife Amina.
“They were always fighting every time the man comes home he always quarrels his wife and ends up fighting her. We suspect he was abusing some illegal substances,” said a neighbour who requested anonymity.
The wife sustained serious burns but managed to escape out of the house before it was fully consumed by the inferno leaving behind the husband and her two daughters aged 13 and four years.
Tigithi Location Chief Wilson Thuo said that efforts by neighbours to put out the fire were in vain as the flames engulfed the entire iron sheet house within a very short time making it difficult even for rescuers to get close to it.
“There was little neighbours could do, the fire was so huge and spread so fast consuming the entire house the family lived in only the wife managed to escape with severe burns and was rushed to Nanyuki general hospital where she was admitted in critical condition,” Thuo said.
He called on residents to be talking out their problems instead of acting in such a manner since two innocent souls were lost out of a family disagreement that could have been solved.
The Chief said that according to the wife, her husband came home as usual and the family had their supper together before the children retired to bed.
However, after a short while the husband went out only to return with a jerrycan of petrol which he sprinkled all over the house before striking a match box.
The chief added that the husband stood by the door to prevent the wife from escaping, but she managed to overpower him and rushed outside leaving him behind and her daughters.
Police later took the charred remains of the three from the scene to the Nanyuki Teaching and Referral Hospital mortuary awaiting a post mortem examination.
By Martin Munyi