A 48-year-old widow is fighting for her life at the Kenyatta National hospital in Nairobi after she luckily escaped death in a suspected arson attack, which left her with serious burns.
Grace Wathuiya from Mutungara village in Mwea East, Kirinyaga county encountered the dreadful experience in the wee morning hours of Tuesday morning, as some of her neighbors assisted her to escape through the window of her semi-permanent house which is said to have been locked from outside.
One of her neighbors who was among the first to arrive at the scene said they had to breakdown the window and help her to quickly flee from the house that was rapidly being consumed by the flames.
“I arrived at 4 am and I, together with several of my neighbors helped in breaking the window from where we were able to rescue her and rush her to the nearby Kimbimbi Sub-county hospital after which she was taken to Kerugoya hospital and later transferred to Kenyatta hospital,” he said.
He however noted that they could only suspect that someone had a hand in it because the door was locked from outside, an occurrence he described as strange.
“We can't suspect anyone at the moment as no one was seen loitering around because the fire was started in the wee hours,” the neighbor said.
Jane Wanjiru, another neighbor, said nothing was salvaged as the fire razed everything in the house to ashes. Luckily, she was the only victim as her three children were away on vacation.
“People came to her rescue when it was too late; the fire had caused considerable damage. All of her precious documents, foodstuffs, her family’s clothes, and her children’s books were all destroyed by the fire.”
“We are even worried about her mental recovery state once she is discharged from the hospital, now that she has lost most of her belongings.”
The neighbors are now calling on local leaders and people of goodwill, to help her recover what has been lost through building her a new house and assist her children to continue with their education.
In addition, they called on police to hasten the investigations, as well as help, restore security in the area.
“While we appreciate that the police patrol the area often, we are now living in fear that a similar incident might happen. We want them to remain vigilant and give us round-the-clock security.”
Area police boss Daniel Kitavi confirmed the incident and said that it was still under investigation.
He said that according to a medical report in their possession, the victim escaped with 46 percent burns and is still recuperating.
He said no one has been arrested in connection with the incident and urged members of the public to volunteer any information that may assist the police to capture those who may have been involved.