The Phnom Penh municipal fire department on Wednesday continued to investigate the cause of a fire that tore through stalls in Klang Rom Sav Market in Phnom Penh’s Tuol Kork district during the late hours of Tuesday evening.
Municipal fire department director Prom Yorn told The Post that officials had not yet determined the cause of the blaze, but assumed it might have resulted from an “electrical fault”.
“However, this could still be wrong since the stall owners told us that they had turned off the electrical circuit before closing their stalls,” he said.
He said authorities have not assessed the total cost of damages since technical officers and relevant authorities are still investigating the case.
The blaze broke out at 11:20pm and was put out at 12:20am on Wednesday.
The municipal fire department deployed 20 water trucks to extinguish the flames. One firefighter was injured and required eight stitches on his hand, Yorn said.
In the end, 40 stalls which sold cell phones, accessories and other electronics goods were damaged. Of these, 25 were destroyed, 10 were fairly damaged, and five suffered slight damage.
Stall owner Heng Chamnab said he had heard that the authorities and the market manager had assumed the fire was caused by an exploding phone battery or an electrical malfunction.
Chamnab rushed to his stall with his family when he heard that a fire had broken out. By the time he arrived, all three of his stalls and “many others were destroyed”.
He told The Post that everything in his shop had been lost – even a list containing the names of everyone who had leased phones from him.
“We all feel so upset right now. What can we do now other than cry, since we don’t know whom to ask for compensation.
“I’m speechless as everything that I had worked for over 10 years was destroyed so quickly . . . I have nothing remaining now,” Chamnab said and called on customers who had leased phones from him to pay their debts.