The authorities are investigating the cause of a fire that tore through a warehouse in the capital’s Kouk Khleang commune in Sen Sok district on Saturday afternoon.
Sen Sok district police chief Hour Meng Vang said on Sunday: “As of this evening, we have not determined the cause of the fire. We cannot establish the cost of damage either as we are waiting for the warehouse owner to return from Thailand.”
Meng Vang identified the owner of the wooden warehouse as 33-year-old Cheng Lyheng. He said most of Lyheng’s facilities had been destroyed in the fire.
No injuries or deaths were reported as a result of the blaze.
“When the owner returns, we can question him on the financial damage and determine the cause of the fire,” Meng Vang said.
The National Police Department of Fire Prevention, Extinguishing and Rescue said on Sunday said that 36 fire engines from various units had been deployed to intervene before the fire spread further.
It said Phnom Penh Municipal Police deployed 210 water trucks, the Overseas Cambodia Investment Corporation (OCIC) deployed 20, Cambodia Beer Company deployed seven, and the Ministry of Interior deployed three.
Meanwhile, the Military Police deployed 20 fire engines, the capital’s Brigadier Unit 70 deployed 20, Cambodia Beer Company deployed one, and the OCIC deployed three.
“Specialist police put out the fire completely at 1am on Sunday. The fire police are yet to determine the cause of the blaze as investigations are ongoing,” the department said, adding that the warehouse stored wooden pallets.
The report noted that the fire had destroyed the wooden warehouse measuring 20m by 40m and spread to a nearby zinc-roofed house measuring 6m by 20m and 19 rented rooms measuring 3m by 4m. Two concrete walls also sustained about 40 per cent damage.
A Department official told The Post: “I don’t know what the cause or the extent of the damage is because he [the owner] is abroad. However, we managed to put out the fire completely by 1am, on January 12.”
Sen Sok district governor Mov Manith said on Sunday said he could not comment further until the authorities had collected accurate information.
Commune police chief Duong Vannak said police had joined in the fire fighting operation and that nearby residents reported seeing plumes of smoke rising from the warehouse around 4:30pm on Saturday.
Vannak said the amount of smoke and large flames shooting out from the facilities had caught officials by surprise. He also credited some residents for helping fight the fire and others for alerting authorities.
“The fire destroyed a lot of [goods] at the warehouse. It is almost completely damaged. But we cannot determine the cost of damages or the cause of the fire as specialist officials are still probing the incident,” he said.