A 5-year-old girl succumbed to serious burn injuries after being caught in a house fire in Kandal province’s Ponhea Leu district that also injured her single mother and 7-year-old brother on Sunday.
According to district police chief Doung Teng, the children’s 40-year-old mother, Hong Sreytouch, a beggar, had put her children to sleep at about 9pm and went to a neighbour’s home to watch TV, leaving a candle burning in their room on the bedside, which then fell onto a mosquito net.
“Suddenly, she heard the voice of her children calling her to help; and when she got out, she already saw the flames coming out of her home,” he said, adding that “she immediately ran into the house to get her children”.
Unfortunately, she was only able to save her son; the girl was rescued later by authorities and taken to the Kantha Bopha hospital, where she died yesterday, Teng said.
According to police, a blanket, pillow and mosquito net fuelled the fire, which did not destroy the whole home.
Dr Denis Laurent, of Kantha Bopha, said yesterday that the girl died soon after being admitted, as the burns were “severe”.
As for the boy, “we are doing the best for him”, he said.
According to the Interior Ministry’s recently released annual report, there were 590 reported fires in 2015, up from 514 reported cases the previous year. The most common causes identified in the report were carelessness and electrical malfunctions.
Additional reporting by Alessandro Marazzi Sassoon