The second major fire of the Chinese New Year season ripped through a poor community in Phnom Penh yesterday, completely destroying nine houses.
The fire broke out at Niroth Pagoda in Chbar Ampov district’s Niroth commune at about 11:30am, according to district governor Eang Siphan.
It took nine fire engines to quench the flames. Because the burning houses sat on a very narrow road, firefighters had to spray water from the pagoda.
“It is not clear at the moment who caused the fire as all the affected people pointed fingers at each other,” said Siphan. “The police are working to determine the cause.”
Eleven families ranging from three to 11 members were affected by the blaze. Most were poor, Siphan added.
“Negligence often caused fires in Chhbar Ampov district [in the past], such as careless cooking and incense use,” he said.
Meanwhile, two huts that sold palm water and stuffed frogs on Veng Sreng Boulevard burned down at about 5:30pm yesterday, according to Por Sen Chey district governor Hem Darith.
Both were covered in straw that ignited from a nearby cooking fire. Two fire engines were dispatched to put out the flames, but they arrived too late.
On Saturday night, a massive conflagration in the capital’s Tuol Roka village burned nearly 100 homes, leaving almost 1,000 homeless.