By William Milasi

Refusal to hand over a gun to a suspected arsonist has left the Manene family in Redcliff  losing valuables and household goods after a mysterious inferno gutted down a house in a suspected case of arson.

The incident which occurred last week at number 15 Senamwe Street in Rutendo has left residents living in fear.

According to a source a man known to the family is believed to have visited the place asking for a gun from a family member who has been identified as “sekuru.”

A family member said that the last person who came just before the tragedy was smoking and it is suspected that he must have thrown a cigarette stub in the bedroom after he was denied the gun.

It is suspected that the stub might have triggered the fire.

‘‘Just before the tragedy, someone came and requested to see our uncle.One thing I noticed was that he was holding a cigarette and a few minutes after he left the house was on fire. It is definitely not an electric fault since there are no exposed wires in the room,’’ said the source.

According to neighbours they said that they had terrified screams coming from the house calling for help to put off the fire.

Ward Councillor Phillip Tshuma confirmed the incident.

“It is true that the incident occurred however we are yet to ascertain the cause of the fire,” said Tshuma.

The news crew witnessed scores of people who were coming to the house to commiserate with the family.

The owner of the house Margaret Manene could however not shed much light on the issue as she told this publication that she was not around when the incident occurred.

“I had attended a funeral in the rural areas only to receive a call that my house had caught fire. I am yet to come to terms with what transpired,” she said.

Nothing was salvaged from the room after the fire destroyed a bed,wardrobe,chairs,blankets,ceiling,uniforms and stationery.

Midlands Provincial spokesperson Ethel Mukwende told this publication that the police are looking into the issue.