The homemade floor polish ignited a fire which has killed the mother and her two children in Zimbabwe.
The deceased were identified as Petrine Vambe (20), Tadiwanashe (3) and Shamah, who had turned one last Sunday. Vambe’s husband, Nyengeterai Muchenje (28), sells floor polish for a living.
Muchenje said the accident happened in the evening when he had gone for extra lessons. “I was delayed by the rains and my wife decided to make some floor polish when disaster struck,” he said.
“The doctors said they [deceased] sustained 80% burns. The eldest child died instantly in the house. The one-year-old died on Monday morning and the mother the following day.
“I have nothing left. The house was destroyed and my family is gone. I am grateful to Zanu PF structures in Epworth, who allowed me to use their offices in Overspill for the funeral wake. We are hoping to bury them at my wife’s rural home in Chisecha Village in Mukumbura, Mt Darwin.”
Neighbours said when the fire started, Vambe tried to toss a tin of polish outside the house, but it landed at the door, torching a paraffin container and a petrol generator.
“The whole house was on fire and people could not get inside. Vambe collapsed on the doorway until I pulled her and the baby on her back. She kept crying that the other child was in the house. We then broke the window, but it was too late, as the child had already died,” a neighbour, Arthur Beni, said.