Four children burnt to death in Malawi orphanage

Msundwe Community in Lilongwe, 40 kilometers from Lilongwe City Center, on the Lilongwe – Mchinji Road, wore a sombre mood last Saturday when they woke up to sad news that four orphans at Comfort Children’s Home (Orphanage) had perished in an inferno that gutted down a boys room at the orphanage that night.

Room where the boys died- pic by LINA.

Room where the boys died- pic by LINA.

The four lie side by side behind their orphanage - pic by LINA

The four lie side by side behind their orphanage – pic by LINA

Survivor, Innocent Paul

Survivor, Innocent Paul

Innocent Paul, 18, the only survivor of the fire, told Lilongwe News Agency (Lina) that being the oldest boy in the room, he always led the others in most of the activities and acted as head-boy.

“On this day, we went to bed after I had made sure that my four young friends were comfortable, I then took the candle back to the living room before putting it off and went back in darkness and slept,” explained Paul.

He further narrates the ordeal: “I was awakened by the shouting of one of the three boys in the room, Evance Laiford, who was disabled, had feeble legs such that he couldn’t stand up and walk. I saw the ceiling falling with fire, mattresses were on fire, and I fell down from my bed, a double deck, not seeing what was happening, the room was full of smoke, I was choking, I couldn’t see. I walked round the wall feeling for the door, which luckily I found and went out.”

Among the four boys who perished in the room, was Samuel Banda, a ten year old son of the in-charge of the orphanage, Pastor Elnard Banda.

The other boys are:Evance Laiford, 12, who had feeble legs and one who alerted the others, Madalitso Yohane, 4, and Manase Pansi also 4 years old.

Pastor Banda, founder and in-charge of the orphanage said the fire was mysterious because it was as if fuel had been poured in the ceiling, alleged Pastor Banda, who sleeps in the same building which has several rooms.

“Yes, we were asleep but it did not take too long for everyone to wake up only to find that the fire had already engulfed the whole room, ceiling had fallen and children have been burnt to death already,” disclosed Banda in grief.

“I know this is the work of the devil because of all works of Christianity he hates so much helping the needy, but I will not stop the work given me by God,” preaches Pastor Banda who belongs to Zambezi Evangelical Church.

Banda said he immediately reported the matter to Msundwe Police and also called Lilongwe City fire men who drove a distance of forty kilometers and found most of the fire had been put off by the community but still helped in preventing the ceiling from spreading the fire to other rooms.

The deceased were taken by police to Kamuzu Central Hospital and were buried behind the orphanage on Sunday.

Pastor Banda says he began the orphanage after he received a vision from God in a dream where he found himself dining with widows, orphans and disabled and after prayer, when he opened the Bible without any chapter in his mind, he opened James Chapter 1 verses 26 – 27 where the Bible emphasizes that the best Christian work is to look after widows and orphans, and so it became clear to him.

Banda belongs to Zambezi Evangelical Church and has been pastor since 2000 but now he is looking after the orphanage as his full time pastoring.

He helps 120 children most of whom live in their villages except for the five, four of whom died, he has 105 widows who also live in their villages.

In addition to the five boys, he adopted a day old girl, Sara, whom he lives with after her mother died in labour of the same.

His ministry is sponsored by Aquid Life Line through in addition to his own resources.

Wiscot Soko, a neighbor said it was so tragic. “When I heard the commission, I ran to the scene and found people pouring water through the window to stop the fire, I joined in but it was too late.”

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39 thoughts on “Four children burnt to death in Malawi orphanage”

  1. wodabwa says:

    Its dificot to understand pple will talk of sacrifices blaim Satan candles but the truth which is very complex no one can understand in this world thereir are only two powers God and satan one day only God will tel the truth amen

  2. Philimoni Gomani says:

    Veri sad indeed, I was there since one of them was my cousin!

  3. KANDAWE says:


  4. Namisako. says:

    so sad.I doubt if there is a body like orphanage association to monitor activities of these institutions.A lot of lives have been lost due to fires caused by open flame candles.CANDLE usage must be discouraged in these institutions.I believe this was a forgotten lit candle and it was standing on an inflammable material.There was an element of negligence here.SATAN should not always be a scapegoat,please.PASTOR,take responsibility and put your house in order.

  5. Nyankhulawa says:

    Check on children before you go to bed mr supervisor, thats carelessness, we dont buy life. RIP

  6. mharawa says:


  7. iweni chintokoma zolowere says:


  8. Boyd Kilembey says:

    Sad very sad. Koma chizungu mudzilemba bwino. “He has 102 widows?” Mwatani kodi olemba nkhani?

  9. Omex70 says:

    I was there during the burial ceremony of these innocent children. It was sad indeed to see that young children have gone like that It was a mysterious fire. There was no candle in the room, no mbaula but the fire just came from nowhere and engulfed the room. Only God knows the cause of the fire. But if there is someone who has just decided inflicted this pain on Pastor Banda, I bet you sooner or later he or she will know how God fights for His children.

  10. Chalo says:


  11. ninkuuzeni says:

    pastor banda
    dont cry and get courage,mayeso sazabwera oposa nsinkhu wathu.
    GOD z not like men,our thoughts are not his,wait and see his gratnes


  12. JOBUUUUUS says:

    very sole rip my dear brothers

  13. GADABWALI says:


  14. akwa ibom says:

    The owner says he stays at the premises so where was he when the boys were crying for help?

  15. Mwale Adam says:

    It was an accident ;which book are u talking about?

  16. Richard Banda says:

    This orhanage should be closed. The owners should be brought to book.

  17. Greencardless Malawian says:

    May their precious souls rest in peace and may God bring peace to the family after such a loss

  18. Jescano says:

    Bad news. RIP

  19. Senior Citizen says:


  20. Sayimoni Bayisikolo says:

    Its time Malawi followed Fire Safety precaution measures.Using candles for kids or even adults can be a bomb waiting to explode mainly when wood and ceiling catches fire it doesn’t take so long fire to catch the whole place.All the places need to have a fire central point where kids or adults should be drilled incase of fire starts.They are even some factories and shops in Malawi where people are locked in by their masters incase the workers steals something when their master is away.Even in several offices in Malawi people are not drilled anything of fire safety precaution measures.This should be taught in community places such schools,hospitals,churches etc.Sad for young kids to go in this way.Rip.

  21. Banet says:

    Very sad RIP

  22. Xander Jimmy says:

    Very sad!……Pastor continue such a commendable job…..may the almighty God guide and protect you and people you are taking care……..RIP

  23. White Rabbit says:

    As an orphan myself, I am horrified, saddened and full of sorrow.

    God, have mercy and grace on these young innocent souls. Give them all the love us orphans never know.


  24. Sad says:

    The same country others are dining and wining and cancelling the rich debts. They have 24/7 electricity others 51 years on are still using koloboi and Candles. Instead of giving half a million to MPs or giving envelops to journalists, why not support people like Pastor Banda.

  25. Wa kwa Luna says:

    SORRY man of God,God is watching. SORRY malawi(akwen take action plz)

  26. First offender says:

    Sorry pastor Banda,plus the relatives of the died may God be with you all the time

  27. Psm says:

    May their souls RIP

  28. Chrispin says:

    May vya souls rest in eternal peace!

  29. nyamata says:

    so sad indeed may there souls rest in enternal peace

  30. Zanimuwone says:

    Work of Satan. Pastor, do not be discouraged. I know some people will be intelegent and acuse you of what happened. Know that it is the work of Devil. May the souls of the inocent children rest in peace.

  31. Thomson Phenduka mwandira says:

    May their souls rest in peace!

  32. munthu wamkulu says:

    may their soul rest in paece

  33. Tione says:

    Sad! May innocent souls of the four children rest in peace

  34. Cheyo the real northerner says:

    Is good that you have reported it today. Although It is of importance that you media men need to be more than swift in informing the nation about the tragedy issues like this one. It happened on Saturday night, you are reporting it today on Monday. wake up nyasa.

  35. Kadakwiza says:

    Very sad indeed.

  36. Pastor Banda God bless you so mightly God will continue increasing grace and annoint you with your ministry God will show you everything in Jesus christ who so ever did this will be get burnt to ashes while people are watching we declare and decree by the power of holy ghost.

  37. cristiano says:

    Very sad may there souls rest in eternal piece

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