In a devastating incident, the Hara family of Wadzenenga Village in Buhera experienced a heart-wrenching loss when their house was struck by lightning, claiming the lives of four siblings. The children, aged between one year nine months and 11 years old, were unable to escape the inferno despite the desperate rescue efforts of their neighbours.
The mother, Ms Tendai Tototai, miraculously survived with only a minor scratch, while the father, Mr Happyson Hara, was away at the time of the incident.
The tragic event occurred on Monday night, and the victims were identified as Mavis Hara (11), Melinda Hara (9), Michael Hara (5), and Milford Hara (1 year 9 months). The community remains in shock and disbelief, describing the incident as mysterious. The house, along with valuable belongings, was completely destroyed, leaving nothing salvageable.
According to witnesses, including Mr Conrad Muchena, one of the first to arrive at the scene, the fire was believed to have been caused by a lightning bolt, which left a hole on the top right side of the door. Despite their efforts to extinguish the flames, the rescue mission was tragically unsuccessful. The children’s desperate cries for help grew faint, and the rescuers were unable to reach them in time. Eventually, the roof collapsed, further complicating the situation.
Ms Tototai, still overwhelmed with emotions, shared her harrowing experience. She recounted being awakened by an ember falling on her, realizing the house was on fire. In a state of panic, she called out to her eldest child, Mavis, but could not find the door to escape. Ms Tototai mysteriously found herself outside the house and immediately sought help from nearby households, unaware of how she left her one-year-nine-months-old son behind.
The local police and traditional leadership were promptly informed, and a police report was filed. The community has rallied around the bereaved family, offering support during this difficult time. The four children were laid to rest side by side in a solemn ceremony.
Mr Hara expressed his deep pain and disbelief at losing his entire family in such a tragic manner. Having finished thatching the house the previous day, his family had spent only one night in their new home. Mr Hara, devastated by the loss, vowed to remain strong for the sake of his wife, who witnessed the tragedy alone.
The Hara family spokesperson, Mr Andrew Muvha, conveyed the profound shock and devastation felt by the family, emphasizing the need for support and time to heal. Village head Mr Titus Wadzenenga expressed his sorrow over the loss and commended the community for standing together to assist the grieving family.