Thirty-three houses were destroyed and two damaged in a fire yesterday in Phnom Penh’s Meanchey district, as fire engines were unable to access the site due a narrow approach road.
Police were alerted by villagers to the fire, which took place in Boeung Tompun commune’s Tnot Chrum village, but could not reach it in time because their fire trucks were too big for the road leading to the village.
“There were no injuries or deaths in this fire,” said Teng Sino, Meanchey district’s police chief. “Our authorities are investigating the cause of the fire.”
According to the police, the fire affected 78 families who lived in the small wooden huts.
Kruoch Yen, whose house burnt down, said she didn’t even have time to rescue her belongings from her house.
“I am not certain what the cause of the incident is, but before the fire happened, there was an explosion and the flames appeared and spread very fast,” she said.
Yan Mao, a 46-year-old resident of the village, speculated that the fire was caused by an electric malfunction or gas explosion.
“If it was caused by an explosion, I want the authorities to make the homeowner take responsibility for the loss of our homes and property,” he added.
In the first six months of 2016, there were 41 fire incidents in Phnom Penh, injuring nine people and damaging hundreds of homes, according to Prom Yorn, director of Phnom Penh Municipal Fire Department.