More than 40 houses burned down in a fire in a Daun Penh district slum last night, although Phnom Penh officials reported no injuries or deaths.
The fire raged for about two hours in Srah Chak commune on the riverbank of the Tonle Sap, with 29 fire trucks sent to fight the flames.
Resident Var Tith, 38, an unemployed scavenger who lives with his wife, said that his home was completely destroyed.
“I have no place to live now,” Tith said.
Another resident, Le Yang Hov, 53, cried as she watched from afar while her home burned as well. “All my belongings are gone now, I don’t even have a pillow,” she said.
“I don’t know who caused the fire,” she added, wiping her tears.
Chheang Phanara, deputy municipal police chief in charge of fire emergencies, said officials “had to use 29 fire trucks to put out of the fire, because the fire was very destructive”.
“We do not know the reason for the fire yet, but we will investigate it,” Phanara added.
The slum is near the Cambodian-Japanese Friendship Bridge, where some citizens have been told they will need to relocate while repairs to the bridge are underway.
But City Hall spokesman Met Measpheakdey denied that the fire-stricken neighbourhood was one of those affected, adding it was “fortunate that the people affected are alive”.