Charcoal heater kills Marondera woman

A 45-YEAR-OLD Marondera woman died in a suspected case of asphyxiation, after she allegedly exposed herself to burning charcoal in her bedroom while warming her broiler chicks.


Loice Sithole of Cherutombo was found unconscious by her son Anesu (23) before being taken to Marondera Provincial Hospital, where she was pronounced dead upon arrival.

Mashonaland East acting provincial police spokesperson Assistant Inspector Tendai Mwanza confirmed the incident and urged people to desist from using home-made charcoal heaters in their bedrooms.

“Investigations are still in progress as to what led to her death. However, we urge the public not to use these heaters when sleeping. We have recorded similar cases of that nature before, where people lose lives through suffocation,” he said.

According to police, on February 21, Sithole allegedly took the brazier to her bedroom in a bid to provide warmth to her chicks and later slept in the same room with the heater on.

The following morning, her son Anesu broke into the room and found her unconscious.

In October last year, four children from the Manzinde family in Murewa died in their sleep in a suspected case of asphyxiation after their 60-year-old grandmother reportedly treated some maize grain with an unknown chemical before storing it in the bedroom.

Nenyasha (3), Ngoni (11), Tinotenda (4) and Ruwarashe (4) of Manyange Village, under Chief Mangwende reportedly died after inhaling a grain protectant chemical.

Manzinde and her two other grandchildren Shamiso (12) and Hope (5) who were sleeping in the same room survived the incident and were rushed Nhowe Mission Hospital, where they were admitted and discharged.

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