Precaution urged as fire injuries reach 100

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Four injured in a fire in Sangkat Bueng Thom, Kandal Nov 14, 2019. Fire Fighter Cambodia

Authorities have urged people to ensure their gas cylinders are in good condition and all flames are extinguished before they leave their homes after fires on Wednesday and Thursday took the number of fire-related injuries this year to 100.

Kandal province’s Kien Svay district deputy police chief Vong Se said four people, including a three-year boy, sustained minor to serious injuries after a fire broke out at an informal petrol seller’s residence in Samrong Thom commune.

Se told The Post that a “negligent” vendor was boiling water when flames shot out from the stove before rapidly spreading to a nearby gas cylinder in the early hours of Thursday morning.

Four people, including owner Yan Neang, 35; her husband Sin Sokha, 45; their son Moeurn Sophea, 18; and her three-year-old grandson Sun Vibol were injured in the incident and taken to a nearby referral hospital for treatment.

Se credited the timely intervention of the family’s neighbours, who “managed to put out the flames before they spread to other homes”.

Authorities investigated 71 gas cylinders after the incident and concluded that the fire caused three to explode.

A gas canister blew up at the Cheu Jiang restaurant in Phnom Penh’s Veal Vong district on Wednesday, causing minor injuries to two Chinese nationals who worked there, according to Prampi Makara district deputy police chief Kret Sar Karin.

Nget Samon, head of administration at the Ministry of Interior’s Fire Department, told The Post on Thursday that of the 100 fire victims so far this year, 13 had died, while 87 others sustained minor to serious injuries.

Samon said that according to official data collected from the capital and provinces across the country between November 15, 2018, and November 14 of this year, a total of 639 fires had occurred across the Kingdom.

A total of 591 homes and 311 shops were damaged.

“Almost all the fires were caused by vendors. They failed to turn off lights or their stoves after cooking or before they left their homes,” Samon stressed.

It was also important that everyone checked the electrical wiring in their homes.