A five-year-old boy died and his father is undergoing medical treatment in Vietnam after a fire ripped through their home in Prey Veng province’s Kampong Trabek district on Monday night.
Bratheat commune police chief Va Samuth told The Post on Tuesday that the family’s home was also used as a motorcycle repair shop.
He said neighbours heard gas tank explosions which then led to the inferno that claimed the life of Chhuor Meng Cheu while his sister Chhour Sieng, two, and father Chhour Kongsrung, 32, sustained serious injuries. The mother, 38, whose name is unknown as of press time, sustained minor injuries.
“Neighbours told us that before the fire, there was a loud explosion and flames were seen. It spread to gasoline. The family was sleeping inside. The house did not have many exits. It had only one entrance,” he said.
He said the young girl was admitted to Kantha Bopha Children’s Hospital in Phnom Penh, while her father was sent to Vietnam because his condition was very serious.
Kampong Trabek district police chief Suon Sam Oeun said the boy who was severely burned, died in the blaze.
Citing an eyewitness, he said the blaze was ignited when the father kick-started a motorbike he was repairing, which created sparks that led to flames ignited by nearby gasoline bottles.
The fire then spread extremely quickly, immobilising the father and trapping the family inside the home, he said.
Neighbours rushed to the scene and attempted to transport the boy to the hospital, but he died along the way due to his serious injuries, he added.
He said that following the incident, police conducted a post-mortem examination on the boy’s body and confirmed he died in the fire.
District division chief-of-staff Chhim Rotha said the girl, who suffered full-body burns, was still in the hospital’s intensive care unit.
He said four fire trucks were used to contain the fire and prevent it from spreading to other homes.