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Tragedy hits village as couple and their two children die in early morning fire that gutted their house in Meru County

A couple and their two children died in an early morning fire that gutted their house in Meru County on Sunday.

The couple identified as Eric Guantai, his wife Caroline Gakii and the children were trapped in their house at Kagwampungu in South Imenti, when the fire broke out around 3am.

Governor Kiraitu Murungi’s Chief of Staff Gideon Kimathi and Nkuene MCA Martin Koome were among those who streamed into the compound to express empathy with the deceased kin.

 Meru Assembly Majority Leader Victor Kariithi was also at the scene in the morning as the local community mourned the couple and the children.

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“We are just here to express our condolences, and Governor Kiraitu Murungi’s, to the bereaved, because this is a really difficult period for them. Even as we appeal to the police to investigate and establish what happened,” said Mr Kimathi.

Mr Koome said the fire consumed the house with its occupants around 3am and the neighbours were not aware of it until it was too late to rescue them.

“It is a big tragedy to lose an entire family and we condole with the relatives and friends,” Kooeme said.

Moses Mburugu, a local, said they suspect an electrical fault since the house was connected to electricity. He however added they have left the police to investigate its source.

South Imenti MP Kathuri Murungi said there have an increase of house fire tragedies in the sub county attributed to frequent electric faults.

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"It is unfortunate that we have lost a young family in the fire. We have had many house fires whenever there are outages. When the electricity is restored it comes at high voltages which can cause fire," Mr Murungi said.

He asked the electricity company to address the issue and compensate for the losses caused in the incidents, if it is found they happen because of negligence.

“By the time the neighbors discovered there was a fire the blaze was too big and had enveloped the house.

“People were helpless to do anything to contain it because it was huge. There was no alarm raised by anyone so the fire continued, with neighbors unaware of it,” Mburugu told The Standard.

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