Meru couple, two children die in house fire

Sunday April 21 2019

Villagers at Murimanjoo in Kathera, Meru County mill around a house that caught fire on Sunday, April 21, 2019 and burnt to death four family members. PHOTO | CHARLES WANYORO | NATION MEDIA GROUP


Four members of a family were burnt to death when their timber house caught fire on Sunday morning at Murimanjoo village in Kathera, Meru County.

Mr Eric Guantai, 41, his wife Caroline Gakii, 36, and their two boys Masters Tony Mwenda, 12, and Christian Karani were burnt beyond recognition when their house made of timber caught fire.

Their bodies were found huddled together in the parents’ bedroom in what appears as an attempt by them to rescue their children.

A relative, Mr Robert Mwirigi, said they were woken up by screams at around 3.30am but were unable to put out the fierce fire.


The remains of a house where four members of a family were burnt to death in at Murimanjoo, Kathera area of Meru county on April 21, 2019. PHOTO | CHARLES WANYORO | NATION MEDIA GROUP

“We tried to put it out using water but it was too fierce fuelled by the wind. By the time we retrieved them, they had died,” said Mr Mwirigi.


The fire also partly burnt two vehicles.

“We pushed one of the vehicles as fire engulfed it. It is by luck that we were able to remove it. Another one was also partly burnt,” recounted Mr Mwirigi.

Police took the bodies to Consolata Mission Hospital mortuary.

After the incident, Meru Chief of Staff Gideon Kimathi, Nkuene MCA Martin Koome Makasi and Assembly Majority Leader Victor Karithi, a relative of the killed family, visited their kin to offer condolences.

"As a colleague (of Mr Karithi) we are hard hit by this tragedy," said Mr Kimathi.

Mr Makasi called on the government to set up water points to help in emergency responses.