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Mill blaze burns rice, destroys equipment

Mill blaze burns rice, destroys equipment

A private rice-milling residence in Kampong Thom’s Stoung district caught fire yesterday morning, destroying at least US$400,000 in equipment, according to the building’s owners.

Vorn Sophorn, deputy police chief of Stoang district, said that the small rice-milling residence contained ample amounts of rice crops and a wide range of rice-milling machinery.

The owners, Chiv Hong Tang, 63, and Nguon Chhun Hau, 58, said that the fire quickly spread throughout the building and ignited the home of a neighbour.

Vorn Sophorn said authorities had trouble trying to put out the blaze, which they said lasted for more than five hours.

They added, however, that there were no deaths or injuries as a result of the fire.

“According to the victim’s claims, the fire caused $400,000 in damages. One thousand tonnes of unhusked rice were about 20 to 30 percent damaged, while 45 tonnes of husked rice were completely destroyed,” he said.

“The fire could have been caused from a cigarette, or the machinery could have gotten too hot. However, the authorities are still investigating this case to find out the real reason.”

Phan Sopheng, Kampong Thom provincial police chief, said that this was the first instance of a major fire in the province this year that was significantly costly.

“We have a plan to prevent and put out fires, and we have informed the local people to be extra careful with fires in the dry season,” he said.

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