Property worth thousands of shillings was reduced to ashes following two fire incidents in different locations within Kirinyaga county on Tuesday, May 24.
Kirinyaga fire department confirms
According to John Kiama, the head of the Fire department in Kirinyaga County, the first incident happened in Waigiri village, Inooî ward in Kirinyaga Central where a man reportedly attempted to take his own life.
An elderly man identified as Muriithi Kiguyu allegedly tried to commit suicide by torching his semi-permanent house while he was inside.
He was, however, rescued by his daughter, Beatrice Muriithi who was still within the homestead when the fire started spreading.
Beatrice rushed to the house and found her father in the sitting room.
She managed to drag the old man out before the house was engulfed by the inferno.
"He is the one who lit the fire in the bedroom before moving to the sitting room where I met him. He kept telling me he wanted to die as I dragged him out of the house," Beatrice said
But what drove the man to a breaking point?
Beatrice said that her father is a hardworking coffee farmer.
He reportedly sank into depression after depleting all his money through irresponsible drinking.
Apparently, he lost some of the money to unscrupulous waitresses with whom he shared his bank details.
"He would walk into a bar and give his ATM card and PIN number to a waitress so that she can go to the bank and withdraw some money from his account. We suspect they would withdraw more than the old man had spent," she said.
"For the past two to three days, he appeared a little confused. He would wake up at around 7:00 am and walk out of the house even without his clothes and say he was going to drink. When my brother tried to stop him, he would strike my brother with his walking stick," she added.
The family took Muriithi to hospital but his mental health continues to deteriorate.
"We took him to a public hospital and was treated and given some medicine but still there is no improvement," Beatrice said.
The fire was put out by firefighters from the Kirinyaga County government.
The other fire incident was reported in Riakiania village in Ndia Constituency where a semipermanent house was reduced to ashes.
Kiama said that the owners were not around when the fire broke out in the morning hours of Tuesday morning.
Police have linked the incident to an electricity fault.