UGANDA, Mbarara | Real Muloodi News | On Friday, January 6, 2023, a guest house fire at Valley Inn Guest House in Mbarara City tragically claimed the life of a 1-year-old baby.
The baby, identified as Bridget Kyomukama, perished after the fire broke out in one of the rooms. She was the daughter of Scovia Nuwamanya, 32, who is an employee at Valley Inn Guest House.
According to eyewitnesses, Nuwamanya had left her sleeping infant in the laundry room where the bed sheets are ironed while she went to clean up another area of the lodge.
That was the last time she saw her child alive.
“Nuwamanya had just left the room after breastfeeding her baby and putting her to sleep to go and do cleaning up around the lodge, only to be called after 30 minutes that the room had caught fire,” said an eyewitness.
The guest house is situated in the Kamukuzi Ward of Mbarara City North’s Biafura cell.
Around 12:24 PM, someone saw smoke coming from the laundry room’s ventilators and quickly called for assistance.
Residents tried to put the fire out with sand and water, but their efforts were in vein. It was unknown how long the fire had been burning in the room when it was discovered.
“When we heard the alarm, we came to the rescue but found fire had spread to the whole room,” said resident Kampala Ainemigisha, who heard the alarm shouts and ran to the area.
There followed desperate attempts to put out the terrible fire, but little could be done to save the baby’s life.
“We tried to use water and sand to contain the fire, but our efforts hit a dead-end,” said Ainemigisha.
A crew from the Police’s fire brigade came to assist with the fire-extinguishing operations around an hour after the fire had been discovered.
They discovered that the occupants had tried to prevent the fire from spreading to the surrounding rooms.
Gilbert Asingwire, the father of the deceased infant, recalled his final interaction with his daughter before learning the awful news.
“I left with my wife in the morning from our home in Katete ward, Nyamitanga with our baby and dropped her at her workplace (Valley Inn Guest House) to go about her daily routine,” he said.
“I also went to ride my Boda Boda, but I was shocked when I received a call from a colleague that my baby had been burnt to death,” he added.
The area LC1 chairwoman, Hamada Sendi, said she had been informed that the tragedy could have been caused by faulty electricity.
The precise cause of the fire, however, is still unknown.
“We shall work with Police to ascertain the cause of the fire, but I call upon all my residents to always be safety-conscious whenever you are leaving your rooms, especially when you know you have left children behind,” urged Sendi.
Police from Mbarara Central Police Station sent the infant’s body for a postmortem examination at Mbarara Regional Referral Hospital.
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