670 fires last year killed 19 people, injured 35

2022-03-03 10:48:24

January 28, 2022/ Khmer Times

A total of 18 people were killed and 35 injured in the 670 fire outbreaks reported last year.

According to the Fire Prevention and Rescue Police Department, the number of fire incidents last year was a tremendous drop as compared with the 937 cases in 2020.

The department director Lieutenant General Neth Vantha said yesterday that the highest number of fire outbreaks reported were 117 in Phnom Penh, 59 in Kandal province, 54 in Siem Reap province and 41 in Kampong Thom province.

“There are 1,590 fire-prone areas in the country of which 958 are in Phnom Penh while the rest are in the 24 provinces. There are 182 factories in the capital that are susceptible to fire and another 726 in the provinces,” he added.

Lt Gen Vantha said they currently have 1,394 firefighters, 336 fire trucks and 199 fire stations in the National Police.

“For the present moment we have enough firefighters and fire trucks to handle fire outbreaks in the city but we may face challenges and problems in the near future with new developments taking place including the construction of high-rise buildings,” he added.

End of last year, he said, the Phnom Penh Municipal Police purchased four fire trucks equipped with high ladders that have drills to bore through walls in case of a fire.

As for the firefighters, he added some of them are old and will retire soon and they have yet to train new ones.

For newly established districts, he said, they have plans to have well-equipped fire trucks that can put out the fire faster and prevent it from spreading.

For the forthcoming Chinese New Year, Lt Gen Vantha advised people to be careful when lighting incense sticks, candles, and joss papers and ensure that they do not spark a fire breakout, including by using their electric and gas stoves.

“We need everyone to play a vital role in ensuring it’s a fire-free festival although firefighters will be on standby for any fire outbreaks,” he said.

As to an incident on Wednesday, he said a fire which broke out at an apartment building in Borey Sambath Meas in Boeng Salang village, Russei Keo commune, Russei Keo district, Phnom Penh at about 3.45am claimed a life and injured three others.

Phnom Penh Municipal Police Fire Prevention and Rescue Office director Colonel Prom Yorn said they were investigating the cause of the fire which also damaged two other houses and a car.