A woman and her teenage daughter died Saturday night after fire gutted their home in Marua, Nyeri County, in what is suspected to be suicide.
Ms Mary Najamiu, 49, and her 15-year-old daughter Eva Mumbi were sleeping in their three-roomed house when fire broke out at around midnight.
The daughter was supposed to join Form One at House of Hope School in Machakos County this week.
Her sister Teresa Waithera said she received a call from the woman’s neighbours alerting her of the fire.
“At that time the firefighters had already arrived because I could hear the sirens from my house. We tried to rescue them but it was too late. They died in the fire,” said Ms Waithera.
Efforts by locals and the fire department to put out the fire were futile as the huge inferno spread fast as the house was made of timber.
They tried using water, soil and banana leaves to battle the flames but their mission failed and the two were burned to death.
Locals say that the woman, who had been living alone with her daughter, had been unwell for a while leading to her losing her ability to walk and consequently became stressed.
It is for this reason that the residents suspect that the woman decided to take her own life owing to the tribulations that came with her condition.
They said that she had unsuccessfully sought treatment for her legs in the past weeks as doctors told her they could not perform any form of surgery.
However, police have dispelled the suicide allegations saying that investigations would reveal what transpired leading to the fire.
“We cannot call it suicide because we have no proof of that. The matter is currently under investigation and as far as we know this was an unfortunate fire incident,” Nyeri Central Divisional Police boss Muinde Kioko told the Nation.
The latest fire incident, according to data from the Red Cross, puts the total number of fires reported in Nyeri in the last one month alone at 24 with six people being killed.
Barely a week ago, a 90-year-old blind woman died in yet another fire incident in the Kiamariga colonial village in Mathira.
The disturbing data has elicited worry from authorities with the Red Cross calling for crisis talks between stakeholders to address the trend.
“The wave of fires in Nyeri [and] the loss of lives is a big concern and [the] leadership in the county and national government should hold urgent talks with stakeholders to address this,” Red Cross central regional boss Mugambi Gitonga said.
At the same time he called for assessment to establish the causes of the fires instead of blaming them on the carelessness in handling fire sources in houses.