Three people, including an 11-year-old boy, were killed late Wednesday night in Kampong Speu province’s Phnom Sruoch district after their wooden house caught fire.
According to police, Khem Muth, 47, and her two sons Soeun Long, 19, and Soeun Loa,11, were sleeping at the time and could not escape.
“The fire started at 10:38pm on Wednesday night during heavy rain, which made it difficult for neighbours to be able to help them in time,” said provincial military police officer Tith Vannak.
“The victims only realised the house was on fire when it had already been burning for five minutes. So it was a little bit too late for them to escape,” Vannak added.
Muth’s husband and the children’s father was not in the house that night, Vannak said, as he was staying at the family’s farm.
“We do not know yet exactly what caused the fire,” Vannak said, adding that police were continuing to investigate.
According to a preliminary investigation report from the Kampong Speu’s provincial military police, a mini-bus parked outside the house was burned out.
The report hypothesises that the fire may have started at the bus, either through an electrical fault or from a lightning strike, or because its gas tank exploded.