The Por Lanka market in Siem Reap town was gutted by a fire early yesterday morning that destroyed all 137 stalls and most of the vendors’ products, according to police officials. Police chief Tith Sovann said the fire started at 1am in a stall that sold construction equipment.
“The fire destroyed 137 stalls and all the vendors’ goods in the stalls. The fire spread rapidly from one stall to another,” Sovann said.
The initial police conclusion is that the fire was caused by an electrical malfunction. Kieve Sot, Slakram commune chief, confirmed that the market’s stalls had been ‘completely destroyed’ and said authorities are still collecting information.
“We are sorry for the vendors, their stalls and products were completely destroyed by the fire,” Sot said, adding that unfortunately, most vendors keep their products in the stalls overnight. Sot said police had not yet estimated the total cost of the damage, but claimed authorities would rebuild the market.
Vendor Srey Nang said she was told of the fire by another vendor during the night but couldn’t get there in time to save her stall. “My house is far away, and when we arrived, we could not collect our products and goods because of the fire.”