Photo by: Sovan Philong
A man shovels through the remains of his home following a fire in Russei Keo district yesterday. sovan philong
Tuesday, 18 January 2011 19:52 Khouth Sophak Chakrya and Kim Yuthana
About 60 homes were destroyed today after a fire broke out at a café in Phnom Penh’s Russei Keo district, police officials said.
The fire started in Chraing Chamreh II commune’s Ka village at approximately 1:30pm.
Phnom Penh Municipal Police Chief Touch Naruth said there were no deaths or injuries in the blaze, but police were still investigating the cause of the incident.
“We do not know what initially caused the fire, but we found that the fire started at a café behind the Russei Keo district police station at the northeast,” he said.
Touch Naruth added that it was the third fire in Phnom Penh so far this year.
Villager Ly Sophy, 49, whose home was destroyed, said today that the blaze started at the home and café of a Vietnamese family.
“Before the fire, I heard the Vietnamese couple arguing,” said Ly Sophy.
“I saw a woman go out the side crying and ride a moto-taxi away, and then a man came out and went away. After a while, I saw a fire starting from their home and it reached out and burned down my home.”
Villager Ek Sothy, 47, who also lost her home, said she was crying and calling for the firemen to “help my home from the fire”, but that there was no road for the fire trucks to access the area.
It took 36 fire trucks about two hours to finally extinguish the blaze.
Russei Keo district governor Klaing Huot who assisted firemen at the scene, asked for the imams to organise temporary shelter for the victims’ families and called on NGOs and city hall to help the victims’ families.
A fire destroyed hundreds of houses and a commune hall in Chraing Chamreh II commune last year.