Fires have increased during the first six months compared to last year, said Ministry of Interior’s Fire Prevention Department director Neth Vantha.
He said 11 deaths and 28 injuries were recorded as a result of 691 fires. During the first six months of last year, 429 fires were reported, causing 10 deaths and 46 injuries.
He said 41 per cent of the fires this year were caused by electric failure and 39 per cent by carelessness. The remaining 20 per cent are still being investigated.
This year, district forces put out 573 fires in the public and private sectors. The operations used 5,391 cubic metres of water.
Local authorities and residents put out 11 fires while 50 large ones could not be controlled, said Vantha.
On the challenges faced by fire prevention officials, he said: “We lack fire fighting equipment such as fire prevention vehicles equipped with ladders, fire extinguishers, heat protection clothes, materials to extinguish fires and rescue victims.
“Self-contained breathing apparatuses and airbags for extinguishing large fires are also lacking.”
Meantime, Kampong Chhnang province’s Samaki Meanchey district police chief Seng Chenda is still investigating the cause of death of Chea Thorn, 56, who died in a fire near her farmhouse.
She was found in Peam commune’s Kraing Kantoul village on the afternoon of June 21.
“So far, we have not been able to conclude if this case was a murder or the fire was caused by the victim,” Chenda said.