THREE juveniles were trapped and burnt to death after a grass-thatched hut they were sleeping in caught fire in Gwanda, police confirmed the incident yesterday.
Report by Blondie Ndebele Own Correspondent
Matabeleland South provincial acting police spokesperson Sergeant Nkosilathi Sibanda said the incident happened last Wednesday in the Guyu area under Chief Mathe.
He identified the deceased as Graceful Nyathi (7), Godknows Matifanza (7) and Nobuhle Nyathi (6).
Sibanda said the children had been left under the custody of their 15-year-old sister Noreen Dube at Juliet Nyathi’s homestead.
“They retired to bed around 9pm in a thatched hut and were using a homemade paraffin lamp as their source of light,” said Sibanda.
“They placed the lamp by the bedside next to the door and slept with the lamp lit.”
He said the lamp then ignited the bed and the whole hut caught fire. The children shouted for help and alerted Noreen who was sleeping in another hut.
“She immediately informed the neighbours, who rushed to the scene, but failed to rescue the children who got trapped by the collapsing roof and died in the inferno.”
Sibanda said the remains of the juveniles were later retrieved by police.
A post mortem was waived by the provincial magistrate.
This incident came barely two days after two children were also burnt to death in Filabusi last Monday after the house they were in was gutted by fire.
Meanwhile, the father of the Filabusi children who were burnt to death after their house was gutted by fire, Alphios Mathobela, has died due to severe burns he sustained while trying to rescue his children from the inferno.