Fire at Kanja School in Embu leaves a trail of destruction

Thursday June 20 2019

The dormitory at Kanja Mixed Secondary School in Embu which was burnt on June 19, 2019 in suspected arson. No student was injured as they were in class at the time. PHOTO | GEORGE MUNENE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Property worth thousands of shillings was destroyed when a huge fire broke out at a secondary school in Embu County.

The Wednesday night inferno started in one of the dormitories at Kanja Mixed Secondary School and left a trail of destruction.

According to witnesses, the students were doing their evening preps at around 9pm when the fire, believed to have been deliberately lit, started and caused massive destruction to the building.

During the incident, beds, mattresses, uniforms, books and other valuables belonging to the students were burnt to ashes.


A combined force of the county fire fighters, the residents and the police managed to put out the fast spreading fire but nothing was salvaged.


"The learners were in their classrooms studying when suddenly fire broke out in the boys' dormitory," one of the witnesses, Mr Mbui Njeru said.

There was tension in the school as scores of students dashed out of their classrooms to help put out the fire which almost spread to the adjacent buildings.

"The fire was big and could have spread to other dormitories and administration block were it not for quick action by the residents and the fire fighters,” a school employee who declined to be named said.


County Police Commander Daniel Rukunga said he rushed to the scene immediately he received information about the fire.

Mr Rukunga said it was suspected to be an arson attack but added that investigations had been launched to establish the cause of the fire.

"It is likely the dormitory was torched by some of the students for reasons which are yet to be established," added Mr Rukunga.

The police boss disclosed that a group of students were questioned within the school and recorded statements.

"We have commenced investigations and those who will be implicated will be arrested and charged in court with arson," he said.

The school’s Principal John Ireri could not be reached for comment on Thursday morning as he was said to be holed up in a crisis meeting.