Villagers of a small community in Kafusi, Gwanda were left in shock after they witnessed a young couple and a toddler burn to death while locked up in a shop they were sleeping in.
First responders failed to break into the shop to rescue the three victims and watched the horror unfold before their eyes as the victims were engulfed by the raging flames, screaming endlessly until they all died.
Faceofmalawi established from The Chronicle that, 26-year-old Lindiwe Ngulube, her four-year-old child Divine Ndlovu and her 26-year-old boyfriend Valentine Ngwenya had just retired to bed at around 10 PM when the unfortunate incident occurred.
The Zimbabwe Republic Police spokesperson for Matabeleland South province Inspector Loveness Mangena confirmed the tragic incident saying:
I can confirm that on February 12 at around 2200hrs at a place referred to as Kafusi Dam, three people were burnt beyond recognition after a fire broke out in a shop they were sleeping in.
The deceased are Lindiwe Ngulube (26), her four-year-old child Divine Ndlovu and her boyfriend Valentine Ngwenya (26).
Insp Mangena added that at around 10 PM neighbors heard a loud explosion and upon investigations, they discovered that the explosion took place at the shop where the trio was sleeping and it was on fire.
The three retired to bed just after 2200hrs after having supper. After 20 minutes, neighbours heard an explosion and the shop caught fire. The neighbours tried to break in but failed as the entire building was engulfed in flames, added Insp Mangena.
The victims were burnt beyond recognition while the merchandise and property in the shop were burnt to ashes.
Insp Mangena appealed to members of the public who might know details of how the fire started to come forward and assist the police in their investigations.
One of the villagers who was at the scene of the incident said they tried, by all means, to rescue the victims from the inferno but their rescue efforts were all in vain.
We tried to fish out the child through the window but failed because of the burglar bars.
One of the deceased, Ngwenya tried to forcibly open the door but failed. They were screaming pleading with us to assist but unfortunately, we could not, said the villager.