Kampala. Shock gripped residents of Nabutiti Village, in Kansanga Parish, Makindye East constituency yesterday morning when four of their residents perished in a fire that gutted their house in the wee hours of the night.
Kampala police spokesperson Luke Owoyesigyire said preliminary investigations indicate the mother forgot to blow out a candle she had placed near their bed.
The police said the fire caught mattresses as the four family members doze off.
“We have been told by neighbours that the mother often used a candle and even on that night she had lit a candle,” Mr Owoyesigyire said.
The residents also said there was no electricity in the house, leaving a lit candle as the only likely source of the fire outbreak.
Mr Owoyesigyire identified the mother as Annet Tusasirwe, 35, and the children as Elijah Akankwasa, 10, Musa Kyakuha, 5, and eight-months-old Rebecca.
The police said they received an alert at about 1am but they could not save the victims.
“We tried to save their lives, but it was too late. We only saved the nearby houses,” Mr Owoyesigyire said.
“It is unfortunate that this mother died with her children. We urge people to always put out candles and switch off electricity when leaving the house or going to sleep,” he said.
By press time, the bodies were still at the Mulago hospital morgue as police was piecing together the puzzles to the exact cause of the fire. A similar incident happened in Makindye Keleziya Zone last year as fire gutted a makeshift shelter, leaving three children dead.
The father was reportedly out at a drinking joint at the time of the incident.
Police yesterday recorded statement from five eye witnesses to help in investigations.
Mr Owoyesigyire said much as locals claimed the cause was a burning candle, the police had widened the scope of their investigation to include arson.
A total of 1,099 fire emergencies were handled in 2017 compared to 1,356 in 2016 giving a 19 percent decrease. The police report indicated most of the fires were registered in Kampala Metropolitan Area with Makindye leading by 111 cases followed by Wakiso at 93, Kampala Central at 82, Rubaga and Kawempe with 43 each. Nakawa division had, 39 fire cases, Mpigi, 26, Mukono, 20, and Entebbe, 18.