Midnight fire kills six members of same family

Richard Kirui is consoled by relatives after viewing the remains of his wife and three children in Kipkelion West. [Nikko Tanui, Standard]

Tragedy struck Tumoek village in Kipkelion West constituency, leaving its residents in shock after six family members died in a midnight blaze.

The victims, comprising three female adults and three girls, died in their sleep as their timber house was reduced to ashes.

Alice Yegon, the assistant chief of Kapkwen sub-location, said the challenging terrain and inaccessible roads, hindered rescue efforts. Rescue efforts were further hampered by poor mobile phone service networks.

"By the time we reached the scene, the fire had claimed the lives of the six. There was little we could do to save them," she said.

Dennis Kiprotich, a 30-year-old who lost his mother and other relatives in the fire, said he is still in shock.

"I heard one of my aunts scream only once. We tried to kick the door and the window open, but for some reason, they couldn't be opened. The flames had engulfed all corners of the house, and we couldn't withstand the heat," he said.

Even neighbours who rushed to their aid were helpless and forced to watch from a distance as the family members were consumed by the flames.

Kiprotich and one of his deceased aunts had travelled from Lelach village in the Bureti constituency to help relatives with maize harvesting. "My deceased mother and I had been in Tumoek for only one week when this unfortunate incident occurred," he said.

Local MCAs, led by majority leader Phillip Rono and Bavina Serem, called for the establishment of a Ward Equalisation Fund. "We urged the county government to prioritise road and bridge construction in Kunyak and other Kipkelion West constituency wards," said Rono.

Serem echoed the call for the county government to allocate emergency funds to address infrastructure development in the marginalised Kunyak. 

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