Woman, daughter (2) & maid burnt to death, 3 others escape death by a whisker as house catches fire

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Msasa Park was left awestruck yesterday when a mother, her two-year-old daughter and their domestic helper, died in an inferno in the early house of yesterday morning.

The fire is said to have been caused by an unattended candle which was left on as the family went to bed. Three other children who were inside the house survived when they were rescued by an alert neighbourhood watch team that heard the screams.

They were rushed to Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals where they have since been discharged.

Police said in a statement, the fire started when the family retired to bed after placing a lit candle on a plastic cup following a power cut.

“On 19 June 2021, a Harare woman (34), her daughter (2) and a maid died in a fire incident at their house in Msasa Park at 12 midnight.

“The woman’s three children, comprising two boys and a girl aged 10, 6 and 7 respectively, escaped death by a whisker through the help of local security personnel and a passer-by.

“Initial investigations revealed that the fire started from a candle which was lit and placed on a plastic cup, following a power cut, before the family went to bed.”

When The Sunday Mail crew visited the scene yesterday, it gathered that the candle was in one of the children’s bedrooms before setting the entire house ablaze.

The deceased woman’s husband was in a state of shock and refused to speak to The Sunday Mail, referring all questions to his wife’s brother Kudakwashe Kutesera. The husband, believed to be working in Beitbridge, arrived yesterday on news that some members of his family had perished in the fire. Kutesera said the children went to bed before putting the candle out.

“From what we have gathered, the candle was placed on a plastic cup and we believe that is when the fire started,” he said.

“The fire started from the children’s bedroom before it spread throughout the house. Unfortunately, the mother died in the bathroom as she was trying to douse the fire with water, but was overwhelmed by flames and smoke.”

He said the woman had asked all the children to remain in their bedroom while she attempted to put out the blaze.

“Only two bedrooms were burnt as well as the bathroom and toilet and those who were in the other bedroom survived.

“While I am not sure where the maid was, the children were shouting through the window for help from the other bedroom only to be helped by the neighbourhood watch security,” narrated Kutesera.

He said the survivors and the maid, who had started working for the family only three days ago, were pulled out through a window.

“We suspect that the maid had inhaled a lot of smoke and unfortunately she died after being pulled outside.”

Msasa Park community was in a state of shock yesterday as news of the inferno spread. Neighbours were seen milling around the house as they sought to come to terms with what had transpired.

— SundayNews


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