Family of student burnt in dorm fire in Siaya demands answers

Saturday May 20 2017

Pamela Rogers (left), the mother of Eric Odhiambo, a Form Three student who was burnt inside a dormitory at Barkowino Secondary School in Opoda in Bondo, Siaya, on May 20, 2017. PHOTO | NELCON ODHIAMBO | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Pamela Rogers (left), the mother of Eric Odhiambo, a Form Three student who was burnt inside a dormitory at Barkowino Secondary School in Opoda in Bondo, Siaya, on May 20, 2017. PHOTO | NELCON ODHIAMBO | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By NELCON ODHIAMBO
More by this Author

The family of a Form Three student who was on Saturday burnt beyond recognition after a fire broke out in a dormitory at his school is demanding answers.

This comes as Barkowino Secondary School in Opoda in Bondo, Siaya was closed down indefinitely by its board of management to pave the way for investigations into the incident.

On Saturday, Ms Pamela Rogers could not contain her anger and shock at the death of his 18-year-old son Eric Odhiambo who was said to have been unwell and was sleeping in the dormitory at the time the fire broke out.

“The school must tell me what happened,” said the distraught mother.

Ms Rogers said: “I had not even been informed that he was unwell”.

She asked the police to hasten their investigations and inform the family of their findings.

"We are calling on law enforcement officers to fast-track their investigations and ensure we know the cause of the fire,” said the mother.

The boy’s mother, who hails from Opoda village in Bondo sub-county, said she last saw her son on Wednesday when he left home for school.

“I received information on the demise of my son from a neighbour who called early (Saturday) morning,” she said.

'REALLY PAINFUL'

“I rushed to the school only to be met by the remains of my son. It’s really painful. His body has since been transferred to the Bondo sub-county hospital mortuary,” she told Nation.

Ms Rogers described her second born son as a humble, disciplined and honest boy.

According to the school’s headteacher, Mr John Mboga, Eric is believed to have been in the company of two other students, who, fortunately, managed to escape when the fire broke out.

Mr Mboga said the fire broke out at 9.30pm when the students were attending their evening classes. The headteacher said efforts by students to put out the fire were futile.

“The fire was so intense. It had already engulfed the entire dorm. It was, therefore, difficult to save our student,” he said.

Bondo police boss Paul Kiarie said they will conduct a post-mortem on the student’s body.

He said investigations into the matter were already underway and urged anyone with information, on the cause of the fire, to forward it to law enforcement officers.

“We have engaged the officials from Kenya Power, Directorate of Criminal Investigations and intelligence officers who are assisting us with investigations,” he said.