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Blaze destroys homes in capital

A woman cleans out the charred remnants of a house
A woman cleans out the charred remnants of a house yesterday in Phnom Penh’s Meanchey district after a fire razed it on Saturday. Hong Menea

Blaze destroys homes in capital

A fire razed three homes and damaged three others on Saturday in the capital’s Meanchey district after a shoe store caught light due to an electrical malfunction, a fire official said yesterday.

Residents said an engagement ceremony nearby made it difficult for fire crews to get to the blaze, which wreaked its damage in just 30 minutes.

It took 14 fire trucks to quell the rapidly spreading flames in Boeung Tompun commune, said Net Vantha, director of the Phnom Penh Municipal Police Fire Brigade.

“The total loss [of property] has not been calculated yet since the police are still collecting data,” Vantha said, adding that no one was injured.

The shop’s owner was absent when the fire started, said Vantha, adding several employees and a woman had fled to safety.

Kem Sophorn, 35, who lost her home, said a large crowd of people celebrating near the burning buildings made it difficult for firefighters to access the flames.

“There was an engagement ceremony, so it took a lot of time for the fire engines to start, and my house just completely burned,” said Sophorn.

Chea Sombo, 53, said yesterday that once the fire began, she had no time to grab anything of material importance before fleeing the burning building.

“I just grabbed my grandchild before the house was destroyed,” she said.

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