Four Metfone employees escaped the company’s Siem Reap branch with only minor injuries on Saturday morning after a fire tore through the building, trapping them inside.
Firefighters arrived at the scene on Sivutha Boulevard, near the city centre, at about 9:15am, said Nea Sang, director of the provincial fire department. The flames were extinguished within about half an hour.
The four staffers were sitting in a meeting on the first floor when the fire started, said Pech Pon Reaksmey, a Metfone security guard who witnessed the fire.
“I heard an explosion sound on the ground floor, and I quickly ran to see what happened and then I saw a huge [amount] of smoke and I started to shout for help,” Reaksmey said. “Everything was damaged inside our building.”
Heavy smoke caused one of the trapped employees to faint, but all four made it to the rooftop, where they stepped onto the roof of a building next door, Reaksmey said. No one required hospitalisation.
Firefighters initially had a difficult time putting out the blaze because the building’s Metfone signage blocked the water from their hoses from reaching the first floor, Reaksmey said. Eventually, the sign broke, allowing the water inside.
Fire department officials determined that an electrical fault on the ground floor had sparked the fire, Sang said.
Last December, a fire at a Siem Reap market left eight people dead and two hospitalised with serious injuries.