Barkowino School closed after a student, 18, dies in dormitory fire

Barkowino Secondary School has been closed indefinitely after a student was burnt beyond recognition in a fire that engulfed a dormitory. The school’s Board of Management announced the decision, saying the form three student died on Friday evening. The mixed day school is in Misovi location, Siaya county.

The student, alleged to have been unwell, was in the company of two colleagues who managed to escape when the fire broke out, and only sustained minor injuries. The two were treated in a hospital and discharged. The cause of the fire is yet to be established, and police have launched investigations.

The BOG says the dormitory hosted more than 100 students, and they have no place to sleep. The students’ personal effects were also destroyed.

The school’s principal, John Mboga, said lack of alternative accommodation informed the decision. He indicated it would not be prudent to keep the students in school because they do not know what caused the fire, and they are sending them home for safety reasons.

However, the family of the deceased has asked the school administration to furnish them with sufficient information on how their son died.

Pamela Rogers, the mother of the 18-year-old boy, says she received the news of her son’s death from a neighbour who called her early in the morning.

“After the news, I hurriedly went to the school, but I was referred to the Bondo Subcounty Hospital mortuary to identify whether the body belonged to my son,” Pamela said.

“I am calling on the police to fast-track investigations and ensure that we know the cause of the fire,” she said. Pamela, who comes from Opoda village, Bondo subcounty, last saw and spoke with her son last Wednesday. She says he was in good health.

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