Two boys were found dead in the rubble of a house that went up in flames from a fire reportedly sparked by petrol in Mzuzu on Monday.
Northern Region Police spokesperson Norah Chimwala confirmed that a six-year-old and a 10-year-old were discovered dead after their parents reported them missing following the incident.
Business had earlier come to a standstill in MzuzuÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Salisbury Lines as people flocked there at midday to witness a house engulfed in flames.
The house became the fourth to catch fire in the Northern Region in a space of two months. Two houses in Mzuzu and one in Mzimba also caught fire in December as a result of petrol and one person died.
Sources said fire started while a house servant, Malamulo Moyo, was cooking on a fire close to petrol containers.
According to one neighbour, Moyo sustained serious burns and was rushed to Mzuzu Central Hospital where he is in the Intensive care Unit (ICU).
Ã¢â‚¬Å“We just saw heavy smoke coming out of the house. What came to my mind was to call Escom officials who rushed to the scene to disconnect electricity. I feared that if the fire affected electricity, more houses and lives would be affected,Ã¢â‚¬Â said the neighbour who hailed Mzuzu Escom for their quick response.
Firefighters from Mzuzu City Council fought the blaze for two hours as their engine kept running out of water. It took three trips to extinguish the fire.
A number of items were destroyed in the fire and people managed to recover a mattress and bags in one of the bedrooms far from the kitchen.
Chimwala, who was at the scene, said police have been warning against keeping fuel in residential places and trading the commodity illegally, but people pay a deaf ear.