A house fire in Tbong Khmum province killed one woman and injured another shortly after midnight yesterday morning.
Police blamed an electrical malfunction for the death of Heng Malen, a 32-year-old vendor, and the burns sustained by her mother, Kem Sokny, 52.
However, local villagers said that the deceased woman had a known mental health problem and had previously attempted to burn her house down three times.
According to Sokny, the two women were alone in the house when her son-in-law, Lun Seanghak, went to a relative’s wedding in a different town.
Sokny went to sleep at 9pm and woke up in the middle of the night to the sight of flames. “When I woke up, the flames had surrounded the room already.
I was choked by the smoke, but I managed to rush outside. When I got outside, I did not see my daughter,” Sokny said.
Malen’s burned body was later retrieved from the house’s smouldering remains.
Chuob Sitha, the Ampil Tapoak commune police chief, said that authorities found no clear evidence of the cause of the fire, and that Sokny and Malen had no enemies in the village.