A 14-year-old girl died in a house fire in Phnom Penh’s Meanchey district on May 23, while 14 homes in Kampong Speu province’s Phnom Sruoch district were badly damaged by a fire the previous day, according to local authorities.
In Phnom Penh, Meanchey district deputy police chief Kim Kalyan told The Post that a fire broke out in a rented unit in Boeung Tompun I commune’s Sonsom Kosal 4 village, killing the girl who was later identified as Chey Lang Sim.
Citing villagers who live near the scene, Kalyan said that at around 7:30am, smoke was noticed coming from the building where the teen lived, with flames noticed shortly after. Villagers attempted to extinguish the fire, but tragically did not realise anyone was inside as the door was locked.
When the fire brigade arrived, they broke down the door to soak the interior and prevent the fire from spreading, and discovered the victim unconscious and badly burned. Fire fighters rushed the girl to the hospital, but she was pronounced dead on arrival, he said.
“Initial investigations suggest that an electrical error was the cause of the fire, but enquiries will continue,” he added.
According to Kalyan, on the morning of the incident, the girl’s parents had left her at home and gone about their business as vendors in a nearby market. When they heard about the fire, they rushed home, but were too late to save her.
In Kampong Speu province, Treng Trayoeng commune police chief Prak Bunlay told The Post that 14 houses at Treng Trayoeng market were badly damaged by a fire on the evening of May 22.
“After the fire was extinguished, police determined that the fire had begun in the home of a 53-year-old man named Koy Van Thoeun. There was nobody home at the time of the fire, so they concluded that it was due to an electrical fault,” he said.
He said the fire did not cause any casualties but badly damaged 14 houses, with an extensive loss of personal property.
So far this year, a total of 252 fires have been recorded, with a cost of 11 lives and 31 serious injuries. A total of 390 houses and 40 stalls were destroyed, according to data from the National Police’s Fire and Rescue Police Department.