Police in Arua City are investigating the circumstances under which a newly married couple burnt to death in a petrol fire incident.
The deceased couple have been identified as Lillian Anguezaru Fungaro, 20, a resident of Okuazaku cell, Arivu ward, Ayivu Division, Arua City, and her husband Emmanuel Adima, 30, a resident of the same cell.
According to Police, the incident occurred on Tuesday night at around 11pm at the residential house of the couple who got married just two weeks ago.
Anguezaru got burnt to death instantly, while her husband Adima who managed to run out of the house after sustaining severe burns all over his body succumbed on Wednesday, January 24, 2024 at Arua Regional Referral Hospital where he had been rushed in critical condition.
Francis Abiti, a neighbour to the deceased couple told URN that they were woken up by the screams of help of the couple at around 11pm and when they came out they found flames inside the house. He further alleges that Adima has been a dealer of smuggled fuel from DR Congo, a claim URN could not independently verify.
“We heard them screaming inside their house for help at around 11pm and when we came out to find what was happening, we found fire burning inside the house and we couldn’t do anything, ” said Abiti.
Josephine Angucia, the Police spokesperson for the West Nile region explains that although the Regional Fire Brigade team rushed to the scene after getting the information at 11:43pm, they found Anguezaru had already burnt beyond recognition. She says that the Fire brigade crew managed to extinguish the fire and saved the neighbouring buildings.
“Upon informing the Regional Head of Fire Brigade West Nile at 11:43pm, the fire crew rushed to the scene to save the situation. They found that the fire was in a residential house of one Adima Emmanuel and had already burnt his wife to death beyond recognition,” said Angucia.
Preliminary Police investigations indicate the cause of fire to be lighting of match box within the house which was already saturated with fumes of petrol.
Cases of Petrol inferno are common in the West Nile region, something the local authorities attribute to the rampant smuggling of fuel from across the South Sudan and DR Congo border which is facilitated by the porous illegal entry points.
In August last year, Agnes Omveku and her two-year-old son identified as Emmanuel Trinity were burnt to death in a petrol inferno at her shop in Ribini A cell in Maracha Town Council, Maracha district.
Similarly, in September 2021, Kassim Ajo, a South Sudanese National perished in an inferno in Koboko district while attempting to save his fuel from a grass-thatched house that had caught fire in Triangle Cell Koboko North division Koboko Municipality.