Vihiga — A middle-aged man committed suicide in Vihiga County on Sunday after setting his house on fire, killing his wife and three children.
The incident occurred at Vindizi village in Maragoli at about 4 am, according to Maragoli Central Chief Kennedy Chanzu.
"We have lost five members of the same family in this incident - the man, his wife and three children," Chanzu told journalists at the scene. "It is only a 10-year-old girl who was lucky to escape."
The girl narrated to the police how her father woke up at 4 am and assembled them in one bedroom and then started dousing the bed with paraffin.
At that point, the girl decided to escape before her father set the house on fire. Her mother, father and three siblings perished.
Neighbours told police that the couple had been quarrelling since Saturday in what they described as a long-standing family dispute.
Cases of this nature are common in Western Kenya where a middle-aged man identified as James Mushikha Mukobero butchered eight family members in 2001--including his pregnant wife - in what was described then as Kenya's worst domestic violence.
The incident occurred in Shibuye, Kakamega where Mukobero also worked as a mason.
After the killings, Mukobero was reported to have swallowed rat poison in a bid to commit suicide but survived after being rescued by neighbours and police officers who rushed him to hospital.
The man was later convicted of murder charges and is serving a sentence.