Plumes of black smoke overtook the skies of the capital as an inferno burned Heng Heng Mattress factory to the ground in Phnom Penh’s Meanchey district.
The fire began in the main building of the facilities around 1pm, before spreading to adjoining residential buildings where workers sleep, fire officials said.
Workers from a separate factory helped open up new routes to navigate through by breaking down walls and removing grates from windows, while others helped salvage merchandise.
No deaths or injuries were immediately reported. At least 100 firefighters from around the city were on site to help minimize the damage.
By 4pm, electricity had been cut due to concerns over residents’ safety. Residents, business owners and onlookers were also evacuated as flames overwhelmed living quarters for the factory workers and shot out of the building as firefighters deemed it to be structurally unsound.
A resident who has lived across the factory for over a decade told The Post that it was the third fire to occur at the facilities since 2015, with the latest being the most dangerous as the first two had burned out on their own.
The first was said to have been caused by an errant cigarette butt, the second due to faulty wiring – adding that the factory owner had been hospitalized due to his failing health and left day-to-day business operations to his son and son-in-law.
Firefighters on site said that it was impossible to assess the damage or determine the cause of the fire until the situation was over as residents evacuated before the building’s inevitable collapse.
No government statement has been made available as of 7 pm.