A woman and five children died in a night inferno in Matanya trading centre in Laikipia central.
Beatrice Wambui is said to have lit a candle and left it burning after getting home drunk on Tuesday night.
She was escorted to her room by neighbour Jane Muthoni but insisted on leaving the candle on.
Deputy county commissioner Henry Ochako said this is likely what set wooden structures ablaze leading to the inferno.
Wambui’s three children aged between one and a half and seven died in the fire. The other two were Muthoni’s children aged six and seven.
“It is unfortunate that lives were lost because of alcohol. The other woman, said to be a sex worker, had left her two children in the house and locked it from outside,” Ochako told journalists.
He said property worth hundreds of thousands of shillings was destroyed. A posho mill, second hand clothes shop and six rooms were also razed.
Witnesses said the fire could not be contained due to strong winds.
Police officers took the bodies to Nanyuki Teaching and Referral Hospital mortuary.