Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Capital cops probe blaze that destroyed 20 homes



Capital cops probe blaze that destroyed 20 homes

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
The authorities are as yet unsure what caused the fire in Phnom Penh’s Meanchey district. Twenty homes were destroyed in the blaze. facebook

Capital cops probe blaze that destroyed 20 homes

Municipal fire emergency police are investigating a 5am blaze on Sunday that razed at least 20 homes in Phnom Penh’s Meanchey district. No one was injured.

Chheang Phanara, deputy municipal police chief in charge of fire emergencies, told The Post that his men are as yet unsure what caused the fire at Boeung Tompun II commune.

“We are investigating to ascertain the cause of the fire. But at this time we are unable to confirm anything,” he said.

Khun Leng, Boeung Tompun II commune police chief, said the fire started at a home of a man identified as Sambath Chantharith, 26. Chantharith is married to Lou Sokphy, but she and their two children reside elsewhere.

“After the fire, we called the homeowner for questioning, but he also does not know the cause as he left his house in the early hours of Sunday to sell his motorbike,” he said.

Leng said the 20 28-square-metre wooden homes that were destroyed involved 31 families.

Ul Sophat, 61, whose family home was burned down, said Chantharith was often not at home. He said Chantharith’s home was not connected to the electricity grid and that he often asked to link to neighbours’ homes so that he and friends had light to drink by.

At about 5am, Sophat said, they noticed the fire coming from the home and everyone, including Chantharith, ran out of their homes in a panic.

“We are victims and want him to confess and apologise because we all are Cambodians,” he said, adding that he did not believe Chantharith started the fire intentionally.

“If he had an intention to burn down his home, he would have run away after the fire. But he appeared to be in genuine shock.”

Another victim, Nub Reaskmey, 29, insisted police arrest Chantharith.

“[Chantharith and his friends] would drink beer until midnight and caused problems for others. Thankfully, only properties were destroyed, and no one was killed. But we are victims and would disagree with the authorities if he is not prosecuted,” he said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Locations shut, dozens more Covid-19 positive

    The Ministry of Health has closed 23 locations in connection with the February 20 community transmission of Covid-19 and summoned for testing anyone who had direct contact with affected people and places. The number of discovered related infections has risen to 76, including 39 women. In a press release,

  • Kingdom's Covid cluster cases jump to 194

    The Ministry of Health on February 25 confirmed 65 new cases of Covid-19, with 58 linked to the February 20 community transmission. The latest cluster cases include nine Vietnamese nationals, five Cambodians, one each from Korea, Singapore and Japan, with the rest being Chinese. This brings the total number

  • Cambodia's Covid cluster cases rise to 137

    The Ministry of Health on February 24 recorded 40 more cases of Covid-19, with 38 linked to the February 20 community transmission. Of the 40, two are imported cases involving Chinese passengers. The 38 include two Vietnamese nationals and one Cambodian, with the rest being Chinese. This brings the total cases

  • Covid cluster raises alarm, health bodies urge vigilance

    The Ministry of Health and the World Health Organisation (WHO) in Cambodia have expressed great concern over the February 20 cluster transmission of Covid-19 in the community. Both entities appealed for vigilance and cooperation in curbing further spread of the virus. Ministry spokeswoman Or Vandine said

  • PM confirms third Covid-19 community transmission

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on February 20 announced the Kingdom's third outbreak of Covid-19 community transmission after 32 people tested positive in just over 10 hours. Addressing the public from his residence after an emergency meeting, Hun Sen said: "I dub it February 20 Community Event, in which 32 cases

  • Cambodia to make auto-rickshaws

    Locally-assembled electric auto-rickshaws could hit the Cambodian market as soon as early in May after the Council for the Development of Cambodia (CDC) gave the greenlight to an investment project at the weekend. According to a CDC press release, it will issue a final registration