Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Fire kills four stuck on first storey

Fire kills four stuck on first storey

Firefighters and emergency medics carry casualties after a fatal fire broke out at a computer shop in Phnom Penh’s Daun Penh district on Monday night.
Firefighters and emergency medics carry casualties after a fatal fire broke out at a computer shop in Phnom Penh’s Daun Penh district on Monday night. Fresh News

Fire kills four stuck on first storey

A fire at a computer shop in Phnom Penh’s Daun Penh district killed four people late Monday night, according to local authorities.

Chheang Panara, deputy municipal police chief, said that an electrical malfunction sparked the fire in Srah Chak commune around 11pm.

“The four were all on the first floor when the fire broke out on the ground floor,” he said. “But each floor is locked. There were four people, all staff members of the shop, who panicked and didn’t find a way out.”

Chout Yeng, 54-year-old mother of Out Sareign, 27, from Kratie province, said her son had called her just a few hours before he succumbed to the blaze.

“We talked for about 10 minutes, He always called me before going to bed,” she said, before breaking into tears. “He came to learn at the shop and worked without getting a salary. He had been at the shop for only five months.”

Neang Sophorn, whose 20-year-old brother Yeng Kunthea was also killed in the blaze, spoke of her brother’s death in tears at Calmette Hospital.

“I want the authorities to investigate why they died,” she said. “My brother panicked . . . I am shocked to hear the news.”

Firefighters attempt to extinguish a fire that broke on Monday night because of an electrical malfunction at a computer shop leaving four dead in Phnom Penh's Daun Penh district. Fresh News
Firefighters attempt to extinguish a fire that broke on Monday night because of an electrical malfunction at a computer shop leaving four dead in Phnom Penh's Daun Penh district. Fresh News

Commune Police Chief Kan Vannak said the authorities would investigate the cause of the fire. “We want to know exactly the cause of death so the bodies can find peace,” he said.

Neighbour Reach Nimoul said he saw smoke on a security feed from a camera installed in the building, where he owns a guesthouse.

“Then I saw them with the phones flashing asking for help,” he said. “After the incident, after a long time, the fire truck arrived.”

According to Nget Samon, administrative chief of the Fire Department at the Ministry of Interior, there were 612 fires reported nationwide in 2016, which left 14 people dead and 546 injured. In the first nine months of this year, he said, there were 383 blazes with nine deaths and 74 injured.

“The number is decreasing but it remains concerning,” he said, admitting that fire trucks were often late and that water is not always readily available to fight fires. The shop owner could not be reached yesterday.

MOST VIEWED

  • Government hits back at threats to pull EBA, suspend UN seat

    The spokesman for the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) has said the government is in no way concerned after the European Parliament gave it three months to reverse what it called the “systematic repression of the political opposition”. Ignoring the ultimatum could mean facing

  • Chinese influx pushing locals, Westerners out of Preah Sihanouk

    Some within the Kingdom’s tourism industry have speculated that the recent influx of Chinese visitors may hinder domestic tourism as the price of accommodations in the coastal city of Sihanoukville continues to rise. Preah Sihanouk province, which has become a hotbed for Chinese investment

  • Sar Kheng: Sokha requested security

    Interior Minister Sar Kheng on Sunday revealed the story behind the transfer of former opposition party leader Kem Sokha from Trapaing Phlong prison in Tbong Khmum province to his house in the capital. Speaking at the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) headquarters in Prey

  • ‘Dire consequences’ from sanctions, warns AmCham

    American businesspeople in Cambodia have warned that any sanction against the Kingdom would have “dire consequences” that could push Cambodia even further into the arms of China. In a letter to US senators and representatives dated Monday, the American Chamber of Commerce Cambodia (AmCham) said