A domestic dispute over the sale of a house led to a huge fire which destroyed more
than 100 local residences on May 10 in the Phnom Penh district of Srah Chak.
Witnesses whose houses and other belongings were lost in the early-morning blaze
said the fire was caused by a divorced couple who had decided to sell their house.
They said Say, the husband, was upset by a court ruling granting his wife the greater
share of the money earned from the sale, and set the wooden structure alight before
The fire victims attacked the slow response of the firefighters, saying they were
left by themselves to fight the blaze for 40 minutes before any help arrived.
"If they [firefighters] had arrived earlier, it wouldn't have come to this,"
said Sok Chea, as she searched through the ashes of her former home.
"The firemen said there was no running water," she said.
"I won't vote for them now because I have lost everything."
Some locals said the firefighters demanded five chi or two domlung of gold before
they would release water from their trucks.
"When they arrived they said they forgot the tube. This time they forgot the
tube, next time they will forget to dress before going to work," 20 year-old