Fires have killed four people and injured 13 so far this year, a significant increase compared to last year, the Fire Prevention Department of the National Police said.
Department director Neth Vantha told The Post that Cambodia has seen 261 fires during the first three months of the year, 82 more than the same period last year.
“In the first quarter of the year, fires killed four people and injured 13. During the same period last year, there were only two deaths,” he said.
However, the damage caused to properties was higher last year, when fires razed 500 houses and 300 stalls to the ground. So far this year only 189 homes and 60 stalls have been affected by fires.
The decline in damage was the result of better cooperation between authorities, the public and firefighters in stopping and managing infernos.
The provinces with the most fires were Pailin (34), Siem Reap (30), and Phnom Penh (21). Oddar Meanchey, Ratanakkiri and Koh Kong provinces each reported only one fire, while Kampong Chhnang did not have any.
Vantha said 41 per cent of fires are caused by an electrical malfunction and 39 per cent by unattended candles. The cause of the remaining 20 per cent is unknown.
There are 8,592 gas stations across the country, 595 in Phnom Penh alone, Vantha said, pointing out that they were particularly vulnerable to fires.
Municipal fire department director Prom Yorn told The Post that two fires broke out in the capital on Monday.
The first one took place at 2:10pm at a timber warehouse and furniture shop in Sen Sok district’s Kok Khlang commune. It destroyed large quantities of furniture and wood. The second fire started at a car dealership on Russia Boulevard, in Sen Sok district’s Teuk Thla commune, at 3:35pm.
“We still don’t know what caused the fires or the extent of the damage, but nobody was injured,” Yorn said.