Mattress factory fire in densely populated area sends residents fleeing
A mini high rise inferno not far from the Russian hospital completely destroyed a seven story mattress factory in Phnom Penh’s Meanchey district Friday afternoon.
The fire at the Heng Heng factory reportedly started at about 1pm and quickly razed the building even as more than 100 fire fighters, braving intense heat and toxic fumes fought to bring the blaze under control.
Fire department officials said that they believed the fire broke out in the main building before rapidly engulfing neighbouring residential premises also belonging to the factory owners.
Fire fighters were hampered in their tasks not only by the heat and fumes but also by illegal structures and narrow accesses which hampered the movement of fire trucks and fire fighters in deploying their equipment.
At the height of the fire, the dark plumes of smoke was visible for miles around and got residents from as far as one kilometer away to shut their doors and windows as the toxic smoke drifted, fanned by strong winds.
No injuries or deaths were reported and fire department officials said that it was a miracle that all were safe.
The cause of the fire was not immediately known as fire engines continued to rush back and forth from their stations and water collection points to the blaze site up to 9pm Friday.
At least 100 firefighters from around the city were on site to help minimize the damage.
The electricity department, EDC also disconnected power to surrounding buildings to prevent electrical fires from breaking out as a result of the blaze in the mattress factory and also as a precaution.