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Four fires put out in capital over weekend

Fire-fighters work to fully extinguish a blaze at a workshop producing wooden shrines in Phnom Penh’s Por Sen Chey district on Sunday morning.
Fire-fighters work to fully extinguish a blaze at a workshop producing wooden shrines in Phnom Penh’s Por Sen Chey district on Sunday morning. Vireak Mai

Four fires put out in capital over weekend

Four fires broke out in Phnom Penh over the past three days, with the largest destroying a wooden shrine production workshop, though no deaths or serious injuries were reported, according to senior officials from the Phnom Penh Municipal fire department.

At about 10:15pm on Saturday night, the Yean Yuin workshop, located in Por Sen Chey district, caught fire and burnt to the ground as fire-fighters battled the conflagration through the night, according to Net Vutha, Phnom Penh municipal deputy police chief.

“The fire-fighters spent hours and 40 trucks [full] of water to gain control of the blaze and prevent it spreading” he said.

By 8am on Sunday the fire still had not been fully extinguished, Vutha continued, adding that owners had initially been concerned there may have been victims in the two basements of the structure. However, when authorities managed to dig through the rubble, they found nobody inside.

Experts have yet to conclude the cause of the fire, while workshop employees are concerned about potential unemployment and loss of wages.

“I hope that I can get the salary for this month to spend for Pchum Ben festival with my parents and relatives, but . . . I do not know how to ask for a salary from the boss, who’s facing a terrible loss”, said Yem Sean a 37-year-old Yean Yuin employee from Kampot province.

The owner of the workshop, Lon Hong, 59, could not be reached for comment.

On Friday night, at about 10pm, a fire broke out at the Sky Port nightclub, also located in Por Sen Chey district, according to district police chief Yem Saran.

Allegedly caused by an electrical malfunction, Saran said, the fire required 18 truckloads of water, and took about two hours to be extinguished.

The two other fires – also thought to have been caused by electrical problems – occurred yesterday morning in Phnom Penh’s Prampi Makara and Daun Penh districts, according to Prom Yorn, director of Phnom Penh Municipal Fire Department, who said “the two blazes are small-scale, and did not inflict serious damage”.

The Daun Penh fire occurred on the third floor of the Royal Group Company offices, and required 10 water trucks to put out, according to authorities.

Remarking on the recent flurry of incidents, Prime Minister Hun Sen appealed to the people, business owners and entrepreneurs to be conscientious and “pay more attention to prevent [fires] from happening.”

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