A man has killed his wife and a two-month-old baby before dying in a fire in Kieni, Nyeri County.
David Maina burned himself, his 21-year-old wife and the baby following a family feud.
His sister-in-law, who was also in the house at the time of the incident, escaped unhurt.
Although the exact cause of the dispute is still unknown, the couple is reported to have had deep marital problems forcing them to separate.
The man’s wife, Esther Wanjiku, had moved back to her mother’s house following the wrangles.
The couple, who are said to be from Nyahururu, had only lived in Kieni for two months.
The man took care of his family by doing casual jobs while Esther was a housewife.
On Tuesday night, the couple were reported to have had a fight that forced neighbours to intervene.
“They had a heated argument last night [and] we were forced to intervene and calm them down,” George Mundia, a neighbour, said.
However, things worsened Wednesday at around noon when the man took the drastic move to end the lives of his entire family.
He was seen walking home carrying petrol in a plastic container. At the time his wife was chatting with her sister as their baby slept.
David locked himself in the house together with his wife, her sister and child.
A few minutes later, their rented house went up in flames.
Preliminary investigations indicated that the three were doused with petrol and set on fire.
“The man doused the house with petrol and burned the family. They all died except for the sister who managed to get out [without] injuries,” Kieni East Divisional Police boss Michael Mbaluku said.
Residents rushed to help put out the fire but were overpowered by the flames even with the help of the Nyeri County fire department.
Eleven houses also burned in the incident.
When the fire was eventually contained, David’s body was found lying on top of his wife’s.
Locals said the man had in recent weeks exhibited stressful behaviour following the family feuds.
Neighbours had even held several talks with the couple to help them resolve the issues.
“We had tried talking to them on several occasions to help them get through their fights. It never occurred to us that things would go this far,” Mr Mundia said.
Police have launched investigations into the incident while condemning the act, calling for people to use other ways of dealing with marital problems.
“This is a beastly and cruel act. If a man and his wife have marital issues they should rather part ways than act in such an inhumane manner. There are other solutions to such problems,” the Kieni police boss said.