A 48-year-old man has been burnt to death after a suspected gas explosion in Athi River, Machakos County on Tuesday, August 1, 2023.
According to witnesses, the unfortunate incident that left 50 iron sheet (Mabati) house units reduced to ashes started at around 11:30 am after a cooking gas belonging to the deceased exploded.
The witnesses noted that the fire started at the house of the deceased before spreading to other houses, fortunately, the other tenants in other houses were able to escape unhurt.
However, the deceased who works at a cement factory was fast asleep while his wife was at work.
Confirming the incident, Athi River sub-county police commander Luckyton Mudavadi said the deceased was positively identified and investigations into the cause of the fire have commenced.
"Fire believed to have been caused by a gas explosion broke at Athi-river. It is unfortunate that one person lost his life during the incident. All other tenants who were indoors then managed to escape unhurt," said Mudavadi.
No property was salvaged during the incident as the fire spread faster.
Locals of Athi-river lauded the Mavoko firefighters for their quick response saying the fire would have spread further to the neighbouring houses and business premises.
"We have been left homeless and lost all our household goods and documents. It is even sad that one of us lost his soul," one Enock Wambua stated.
The families which were left homeless appealed to well-wishers and the county government to help them get back on their feet saying the majority of them depend on casual jobs to eke a living.