A ROUTINE morning took a devastating turn when a mother returned from fetching water to find her home engulfed in flames, tragically leading to the loss of her one-year-old son’s life.
The heart-wrenching incident occurred yesterday in the serene surroundings of Chikumba Village, located in the Kafue District.
The deceased one-year-old baby boy was left under the care of his four-year-old elder brother as their mother embarked on a short journey to collect water from a nearby river, situated three kilometers away while the father was tending to fields at the time.
It is reported that a pot of maize was left boiling on the fire outside, near the family’s grass-built hut which started the fire.
As the mother returned from the river around 09:00 hours, she was met with a scene of unimaginable horror, the house, which the family called home, was engulfed in flames, reduced to ashes.
Her heart sank further as she noticed her four-year-old son standing at a distance, but there was no sign of her one-year-old baby boy. The young child had perished in the inferno.
The Chilanga police station was alerted to the tragedy at 15:32 hours.
Responding to the call, authorities visited the scene to conduct a thorough investigation and found that the grass-built hut was situated merely two meters away from where the fire was burning.
Police suspect that the wind, which was blowing strongly that morning, may have contributed to the flames’ rapid spread, consuming the hut and leading to the tragic loss of life.
Police spokesperson Rae Hamoonga said the body of the one-year-old was examined and found to be completely burnt to ashes.
Given the heartrending circumstances, authorities advised the grieving family to proceed with the burial of the young child while a comprehensive inquiry file has been opened, aiming to provide insights into the incident.
CAPTION: File photo for illustration
By Moses Makwaya
Kalemba August 26, 2023