Tragedy struck a home in Kamara, Nakuru County, minutes to midnight, when a child died in a fire while his mother celebrated the new year at a local pub.
The seven-year-old died as a fire razed their house in Kuresoi North, along the Nakuru-Eldoret highway.
Chief Joseph Korir said Bravin Kipkorir's mother "locked the boy in the house and left to usher in the New Year at a local pub".
Mr Korir said the woman took her other three children to a neighbour's house and then joined her friends for a "drinking spree".
He said a burning candle may have led to the fire at about 11pm. It destroyed three houses and a business premise.
One person sustained minor injuries as he tried to rescue the young Kipkorir.
The body was taken to Molo sub-county hospital mortuary.
The administrator warned parents against leaving their children unattended, especially at night.
To usher in year 2019, residents of Elburgon in the county went to churches and clubs.
Bishop Kamuri Muya of Talent Church prayed for jobless youths and asked the government to tighten the noose on corrupt individuals.
"The president's Big Four Agenda will only be realised if looters like those in the maize saga are arrested and jailed," he said.
He noted that the legacy of a corrupt-free Kenya would be good for President Uhuru Kenyatta, who is serving his second and final term.