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Smoke billows from a fire in the Garden Village Guesthouse in Siem Reap yesterday. NATIONAL POLICE
Smoke billows from a fire in the Garden Village Guesthouse in Siem Reap yesterday. NATIONAL POLICE

One injured in Siem Reap blaze

A man was left with burns and a damaged spine yesterday after a fire broke out in the Garden Village Guesthouse in Siem Reap due to an “electrical malfunction”, police said.

The town’s acting police chief, Da Chamroeun, said the fire had sent columns of smoke billowing out of the guesthouse and destroyed the upper portions and roofs of three of the guesthouse’s buildings.

“A manager of the guesthouse, Tep Kemkhen, 35, injured his arm, back and face,” Chamroeun said, adding that no one else was injured, but that Kemkhen had hurt himself badly in a fall while fighting the fire.

“According to the victim, the blaze happened because of an electrical malfunction, and because the upper parts of the buildings are made of thatch and palm leaves.”

Van Yuthea, 35, the son of the guesthouse’s owner and Kemkhen’s brother-in-law, said the man was sent to a hospital in Vietnam for operations after an X-ray examination revealed a cracked backbone.

“When the fire started, Kemkhen tried to use the fire extinguisher to put out the fire but it was not successful because the walls of the building are made of leaves,” he said. “When the fire got bigger, he jumped from the second floor of the building.”

“We laid out a cushion on the first floor but it was not enough to cushion his fall,” he added. “Blood started coming out from his mouth and nose.”

Eight fire engines were deployed by the provincial fire unit and provincial military police to put out the fire, according to Chamroeun.

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