, NYAHURURU, Kenya, Sep 28 – A five-year-old boy living with disability was burnt beyond recognition on Monday night when a fierce fire gutted down several houses at the sprawling Manguo slums in the outskirt of Nyahururu town.
The boy was alone in the house when the fire began and burnt down six timber houses. According to eyewitnesses, his mother had left him in the house as she went to a nearby shop.
A neighbour, Mary Muthoni, said that the inferno was believed to have emanated from a tin lamp which they were using.
“We suspect that the boy went to reach for the tin lamp and it fell down starting the fire. It spread to nearby houses,” she said.
Ms Muthoni said that efforts to save the child from the fire failed as the fire was spreading too fast as a result of a strong winds burning the wooden houses to ashes.
"We just heard cries from their room but watched helplessly as there was nothing we could do. There was no water nearby and the fire was becoming wild every minute. The boy died inside,” she said.
It took over two hours for the residents to manage to put out the fire. Police officers who arrived at the scene could not help much since they lacked equipment’s to put off the fire.
Residents are now blaming the fire department of Nyahururu Municipal Council for failing to arrive at the scene despite numerous calls for help.
"They did not come to put the fire out despite our numerous calls. Police officers arrived at the scene and there is nothing they could do,” Benson Maina, a resident in the area.
The residents also regretted that the council had failed to open up proper feeder roads in the area to access some of the houses.
The remains of the deceased were moved to Nyahururu district hospital mortuary.