Dar es Salaam. A resident of Pugu in Dar es Salaam, Mr Edward Katemi, is grappling with how to come to terms with the loss of a wife, three children and a younger sister in an inferno.
He was narrating the ordeal yesterday in the city.
Those who lost their lives are his wife Jacqueline Frank, 27 and young sister Esther Katemi, 15.
Others are children Edwin Katemi, 11, a Pugu Primary School pupil; Edson Katemi, 10, a Green Hill Primary School pupil, and Yvonne Katemi, 4.
The five, he narrated, suffocated from the smoke and were pronounced dead upon arrival at the Nguvu Kazi Health Centre based in Chanika, Ilala in Dar es Salaam on Tuesday night after a fire broke out ragging the house.
The victims suffered no burns
Narrating to The Citizen yesterday, Mr Katemi said the fire broke out at around 10pm after a power outage.
When power returned later, there was an electric shot from the main switch. The house later filled with smoke.
“I heard my three children, younger sister and wife crying for help but it was to no avail. We managed to extinguish the fire but by the time we got inside to take them out, it was too late to save their lives. They had suffocated and had suffered no burns,” he explained.
Pugu Station Secondary School head master Simon Lupogo expressed his shock upon receiving news about the demise of Esther, who was a Form Four student at the school.
He said they had lost a highly disciplined student who was also doing well in academics.
“We have lost a very good student. We had high expectations on her with regards to her final exams that are approaching,” said Mr Mr Lupogo.
Esther’s fellow students are mourning her with the family saying the school has lost a bright and cooperative student.
Family spokesman Anthony Nteme said the bodies would be brought home today (Friday) for neighbours and relatives to pay their last respects before they are transported tomorrow at around 11am to Mwanza for burial services.
The bodies would be flown to Mwanza where they would be laid to rest on Sunday at Sukuma Village in Sengerema District, he added.