Late Mr. Kiboi Died In House Inferno

aftenposten picture of house where kiboi died another pic from aftenposten 

Mr. James Kiboi, a Kenya Embassy official in Stockholm, died in a house inferno at Store Brevik in Vesteby commune in Oslo, Norway. Alarm about the fire that erupted in a villa at Ringveien street was sounded at 07.58 yesterday, Sunday September 10th   but by the time the fire brigade arrived at the scene, the villa was already burnt down to ashes.

According to Aftenposten (Sept 11), a leading Norwegian newspaper, “The fire brigade had no chance of saving the house which burnt down to ashes”. Attempts to contain the fire continued for several hours before smoke divers managed to get into the burning house where they found a dead person believed to have been Mr. Kiboi. The body could not immediately be identified. Swedish police visited Kiboi’s residence yesterday evening in a move to try and confirm his identity. 

Aftonposten wrote that at least 6 people managed to get out of the burning villa including a 30 year old woman who suffered serious burns. according to the paper, it is not clear how many people were in the villa at the time of the tragedy. The paper added that owners of the house were away at the time of the fire but had hired it out.

Norwegian police refused to comment about investigations into the fire or what might have caused it. They referred Kenya Stockholm Blog to Anna Len Somsten, the Press secretary at the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. When reached on her mobile, Anna Len said that she was on her way to board a plane and could not comment over the issue. An official at the Ministry however said that initial reports indicated that people who were in the house were alseep at the time of the fire.

Mr. Kiboi was well liked by the Kenyan community in Stockholm and his unexpected demise is a big blow to both the Kenyan Embassy and the community as a whole. Although he has been in Stockholm for barely a year, he had established deep roots within the community and mingled freely with people. He was seen as an agent of change at the Embassy and made every effort to bring the institution closer to the Kenyan community.

The late Kiboi was last seen in public on Friday 1st September at a fund raising to help transport the body of the late Juliet Kavinga to Kenya. At the function, the diplomat represented the Embassy and handed over 6.000 kr that had been contributed by Embassy staff. At a time when Juliet’s body has not yet let left for Kenya, the death of Mr. Kiboi amounts to a double tragedy for the Kenyan community in Stockholm.

Okoth Osewe

makosewe@gmail.com

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