Fires which broke out in the capital on Tuesday morning resulted in more than 100 families losing their homes and jobs.
Phnom Penh Fire Bureau chief Prum Yorn told The Post that between 1:30am and 9:30am on Tuesday, fires broke out three times in the capital, destroying 18 homes, 95 rooms for rent, two motorcycles, and several properties in Russey Keo, Meanchey and Sen Sok districts.
“All three fires were caused by negligence by the homeowners and local community,” Yorn said.
Yorn said the first fire took place in the village and commune of Phnom Penh Thmey at 1:30am, destroying a wooden home roofed with zinc, two motorcycles and some possessions.
He said according to homeowner Ly Meng, 72, the fire was likely caused by an electrical fault because before the fire, he heard an explosion at the house’s electric circuit distribution board which sparked flames, resulting in the entire house catching fire.
The second incident took place at 5am, destroying a house in Russey Village in Stung Meanchey II commune, where a zinc-roofed wooden structure with bricks laid beneath it and some utilities caught fire, Yorn said.
According to the homeowner Kong Sok Lin, 54, the fire was caused by him lighting mosquito coils on the mattress carelessly, Yorn said.
Yorn said at 9:30am, another blaze destroyed 16 houses, 95 rooms for rent, and many other properties in Tuol Sangke I commune in Russey Keo district. So far, police have not yet found the cause of the fire.
However, Tuol Sangke I commune police chief Nong Sabong said the fire was the result of a cooking gas tank explosion.
“At the moment, police are cooperating with fire officers to search for the truth after many villagers claimed that it was caused by a gas tank explosion.
“Homeowner Sorn Ratha owns the plots of land with several rooms for rent. But he denied that there was any cooking at his house at that time,” Sabung said.