Two children die in Mzuzu house fire

Two children have been burnt to death at Chibanja Township in Mzuzu after fuel that had been illegally kept in the house exploded and razed the house to the ground, Police have confirmed.

Northern Region Police Spokesperson Sub Inspector Norrah Chimwala said Police are yet to establish the cause of the fire.

“Another person is hospitalised at Mzuzu Central hospital, “Chimwala said.

Nyasa Times visited the scene after the incident happened and scores of well wishers were trying to extinguish the inferno with no success.

The house were the children got burnt. Photo: Tabitha Mkandawire/Nyasa Times

Fire Fighters later came 20 minutes later and made two trips to fetch water before they succeeded in putting the fire out.

The charred bodies of the two children aged 10 and the other less than 10 years were found later.


Meanwhile Police in Mzuzu have arrested six people who were found with 500 litres of fuel. The six were arrested in different parts of Mzuzu during a sweeping exercise.

Chimwala said Police are warning the public to desist from illegally keeping and selling of fuel.

“We have noted that some people are buying fuel in bulk at Filling Stations and later resell at higher prices. This practice is contrary to MERA rules regulations. This tendency is also depriving genuine users access to affordable fuel,” she said.

According to Chimwala fuel induced fire accidents are escalating.

“In Mzuzu at Masasa Location a two year-old-boy died when his father left an open petrol Jerry Can and was looking for a funnel to put the fuel in his vehicle, unfortunately the boy hit Jerry Can and the petrol spilt over him. Then toddler went to the kitchen where his mother was cooking and caught fire.

“And in Mzimba at Chinkusa Location a house was burnt to ashes when the owner was cooking using paraffin stove and the sparks jumped to the 10 litre Jerry Can of Petrol which he was keeping in the house,” she said.

Malawi Energy Regulatory Authority (Mera) last year issued a total ban on the use of jerry cans, drums or any other container and this includes all holders of permits issued by the authority.

Mera explained that the ban on jerry cans, drums or any  other container regardless of size is to facilitate the optimal distribution of the  available fuel products to every user and further to protect the public from  possible accidents arising from mishandling of fuel.

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