A boy, girl and woman were injured in a fire that razed an entire floor of the Diamond Twin Tower Condo and Office Centre in the capital’s Koh Pich island in the afternoon of March 17.
The blaze “destroyed all belongings” on the 16th floor – not counting the ground floor – of the northwestern tower, located in Group 78, Village 14, Tonle Bassac commune, Chamkarmon district, just northeast of the Swan Bridge.
Colonel Prum Yorn, director of the Phnom Penh Department of Fire Prevention, Extinguishing and Rescue under the National Police, said he immediately ordered a fire truck with a 54m-long ladder to rescue anyone trapped in the building up to floors 10-12.
He said the first firefighters at the scene confirmed that the fire was on floor 16 and extended to the top floor, and verified claims that people were trapped in the upper floors of the 32-storey building – out of the ladder’s reach.
Yorn said he then “decided to lead” firefighters into the building to get people out of the tower’s upper half as well. It was not immediately clear if the colonel physically entered the building.
Despite having a few dozen fire trucks and engines on standby, none of them used water to control the blaze, relying instead on the building’s fire fighting system.
Yorn confirmed that the fire did not spread to the southeast tower or neighbouring buildings, but noted that the fuse boxes from floors 16-31 were “completely destroyed”.
Police have yet to establish a sole probable cause of the fire.