Scores of students at the Kibokoni Secondary School in Sabaki area of Magarini constituency sustained injuries after a fire broke out in the girl’s dormitory mid Thursday morning.
One girl suffered shock and was rushed to hospital by Kenya Red Cross officials whose efforts to stabilize her failed, while her school mates received First Aid at the school.
The fire was however contained immediately after teachers, students and neighbours gained entry to the relatively new building and removed beds and students’ personal effects before it was finally put out by a fire engine from the Kilifi County Government.
Journalists arrived at the scene as the fire engine was leaving and teachers and students were assessing the damage.
Beds, mattresses and school boxes were strewn outside the affected dormitory, which is situated next to the school kitchen, while just a few items remained in the building.
School Principal Patrick Mwangi declined to comment and ordered journalists outside the school compound, claiming the police and the Sub County Director of Education had not yet arrived to assess the damage.
Some teachers turned violent against the scribes, who stayed put, demanding an interview with the management, but the principal refused to give them audience claiming he was busy.
A teacher who cannot be named as he is not authorized to speak to the media said the fire started from a small office inside the dormitory and suspected that it could have been caused by an electric fault.
“A fierce fire razed down a building in the neighbourhood that is next to the affected dormitory and it is suspected that the fire was caused by an electric fault. Since the electricity line is the same, we suspect that today’ fire was also caused by an electric fault,” he said.
Stembo Kaviha Kikopi, a community leader and famous land activist, said he was forced to mobilize mourners at his home to help put out the fire.
“We were busy preparing to bury my brother’s son who died after a wall fell on him. When we heard of the incident, I mobilized the people who had come to console us to rush to the school to help put out the fire and salvage students’ property,” he said.
He wondered why the management became hostile to journalist and whether the officials knew what had transpired and did not want it to be exposed.
Fanice Chenda and Christine Garama, who are parents in the school, said they had received information that the school was on fire and rushed to establish the statuses of their children.
“I witnessed the dormitory burning but the fire brigade arrived in time to put it out. Several students have been injured and one has had to be taken to hospital,” Ms Chenda said.
On her part, Ms Garama said she had been barred from entering the school and was not sure how her daughter was following the incident.
Kenya Red Cross officials at the scene declined to comment saying only Coast Regional Manager Hassan Musa was allowed to address the media.