Gas blast sparks homes blaze

Source: Khmer Times

Firefighters and neighbors attempt to put out the blaze. Supplied

Eighteen houses were destroyed in Phnom Penh’s Meanchey district yesterday after a gas explosion sparked a fire that spread to neighbouring homes.

No one was injured in the incident.

Dy Roth Khemrun, Meanchey district deputy governor, said the fire started at 6am.

“Specialists from the Phnom Penh fire department, local authorities and armed forces came to the scene to help our people extinguish the fire,” he said.

He said the 18 houses that were completely burned down were among 46 houses in the area. Most were made of wood and galvanised steel.

Firefighters used 14 fire engines to put out the fire. They faced difficulties because the road was small and crowded, but were able to extinguish the fire in about one hour, Mr Roth Khemrun said.

“This is the second fire in this area,” Mr Roth Khemrun said. “There was one in 2016 that destroyed 33 houses.”

Prom Yorn, director of Phnom Penh Municipal Fire Department, said yesterday that so far this year there have been 51 fires in Phnom Penh, resulting in three deaths.

Most of the fires were caused by gas explosions, electrical fires and the other careless actions of citizens, he said.

“I want to suggest to all citizens to be careful and pay attention to fire prevention, especially when using gas, electricity and the other things which easily cause fires,” he said.

The National Police website said yesterday’s fire started after a gas explosion in the house of grocery seller Ven Nary, 38.

Last month, a Chinese company donated fire equipment to the Interior Ministry worth about $200,000. It included 200 firefighting suits, 200 firefighting helmets, 200 belts, ten fire hoses and two fire trucks.

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