Sixty-four wooden homes were razed early Tuesday morning in Mitapheap village, Phnom Penh. However, no deaths or injuries were reported.
Russey Keo district police chief Tieng Chansa said most of the houses had zinc roofs.
“We rescued the elderly and pregnant women and took them to safety,” Chansa said, adding that authorities suspect the fire was started by an electrical malfunction.
Fire trucks from Chroy Changvar and Russey Keo districts and two boats fought the blaze. The cost of damages could not be ascertained at press time.
Russey Keo commune police chief Touch Kimsong said the authorities were hampered during the incident as the road where the fire occurred was too narrow.
“Firefighters could not access the site and needed to drag the hose over a distance of 200 metres to extinguishing it,” he said.
Mitapheap village chief Pok Savoeun said the fire started around 3:15am and was doused by 6:25. He said 67 families lost their homes, of which 55 were Vietnamese.
He confirmed that the area is an unorganised location situated along the river, but there were few problems reported in the village.
“The affected Vietnamese families are not well off. Some are drivers or fishermen, but they are polite and do not gamble or cause conflict to bother the authorities,” Savoeun said.
Chheang Phanara, Phnom Penh municipal deputy police chief in charge of fire emergencies, reported that in the first six months of this year, 50 fires broke out claiming one death.