By Sukulwenkosi Dube-Matutu
A FOUR-month-old baby died from severe burns when a bedroom hut she had been left sleeping in by her mother as she went to the fields, caught fire.
Matabeleland South acting provincial police spokesperson, Inspector Loveness Mangena, confirmed the incident which occurred in Mazhayimbe Village in Bhaza area Matobo on Friday at around 9AM.
She said the baby had been left alone sleeping in a grass thatched hut at around 7AM by her mother Ms Sithokozile Masuku who had gone to work in the fields.
“I can confirm that we recorded a sudden death case where a four-month-old baby girl died after sustaining burns.
“Her mother, Ms Sithokozile Masuku, left her sleeping in a grass thatched hut as she went to work in the fields about 500 metres away from their home.
“A passer-by Mr Brian Maphosa noticed some smoke coming from the hut and went to inspect. He found the hut in flames and heard the sound of a crying baby coming from inside the hut.
“Mr Maphosa entered the hut and retrieved the baby from the burning hut. The baby was still alive but she had sustained severe burns,” he said.
Insp Mangena said the baby’s mother returned after seeing a thick cloud of smoke coming from the direction of her homestead. She said the baby was rushed to Bhazha Clinic where she was pronounced dead upon arrival.
Insp Mangena said investigations were underway and the cause of the fire was yet to be established. She urged parents to ensure that they did not leave small children unattended.
“We are yet to establish the cause of the fire as investigations are underway. As police we urge parents or guardians not to leave small children alone at home unattended.
“A four-month-old baby is too small to be left all alone. Parents have to be cautious when it comes to their children and not be negligent,” she said. The Chronicle