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Massage shop fire kills two in Sihanoukville

Smoke billows from a building in Preah Sihanouk province
Smoke billows from a building in Preah Sihanouk province yesterday as a fire crew attends the scene. PHOTO SUPPLIED

Massage shop fire kills two in Sihanoukville

Two children died in a fire at a Sihanoukville massage parlour over the weekend.

Chov Sreu, 7, and Sy Tha, 9, were sleeping on the balcony of the Commune 2 property, where their mothers work as masseuses, when the fire started at about 5am on Saturday.

According to commune chief Kem Sea, the blaze was sparked by an electrical fault and spread quickly through the two-storey building’s top floor, fuelled by bedding, a mosquito net and other material.

Though six people live at the house, only the children were trapped, Kem said.

“No one could help them in time,” he said. “The fire was really strong.”

Kem estimated the damage at about $10,000, with a motorbike and four televisions among the items destroyed.

Four firetrucks from the same commune also attended to a blaze at a convenience store yesterday, which started about 12:10pm when a gas tank exploded, according to the Interior Ministry.

That fire, which took just under an hour to douse, caused no injuries.

Meanwhile, construction workers in Banteay Meanchey province’s Poipet town were lucky to avoid injury when their temporary accommodation went up in flames on Saturday.

Poipet Governor Ngor Meng Chroun said that about 50 rooms were damaged at a structure built by the Sok Sreng Company to shelter its workers. Meng Chroun suggested an electrical fault, an incense stick or workers cooking rice as possible causes.

The Interior Ministry’s Department of Weapons, Explosives and Fire Management has recorded 328 fires this year, resulting in 25 deaths and 28 injuries, according to its director, Thun Samorn, an increase of 35 incidents compared with 2013.

Samorn said the most fire-prone areas were Phnom Penh, Battambang, Kampong Cham and Prey Veng, while the most common causes were electrical faults, cooking, incense sticks, gas explosions and petrol.

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