Mattress factory loses millions in fire
Officials survey the damage following the inferno. KT/Pann Rachana
Owners of a mattress factory in Phnom Penh that was razed on Friday have reportedly lost $3.5 million due to damages after a fire destroyed buildings and equipment.
Phnom Penh Governor Khuong Sreng on Saturday visited Heng Heng Factory in Meanchey district, which was ravaged by flames that started at 1pm on Friday.
He said firefighters were not able to control the fire until the next day, when officers eventually decided to destroy one of two buildings in the complex in order to stop the fire from spreading further.
One of the factory buildings had partially collapsed on Friday due to the fire. Firefighters decided to take down the entire building after attempts to contain the flames failed. No one was injured in the incident.
“The factory lost about $3.5 million in the fire, which include the factory’s two buildings and equipment inside, which were all destroyed,” Mr Sreng said.
City Hall on Saturday urged all residents living in the vicinity of the factory in Boeng Tompun I commune’s Chamroeun Phal village to be careful while authorities were managing the situation.
“City Hall wants to inform the public that authorities have closed the streets nearby the factory for the next three days, from today [yesterday] until August 27 for public safety,” it said in a statement.
Kun Kim, National Committee Disaster management first vice president, said on Saturday that the fire was contained, despite some areas in the factory still burning and emitting smoke.
He said the Phnom Penh Disaster Management Committee will work with construction officials in order to take down the second building and ensure that the process will not pose any danger or disturb people nearby.
Firefighters battle the blaze. KT/Pann Rachana
“Authorities are paying attention on the issue and we will take down and clean the building carefully and ensure the safety of everyone nearby,” Mr Kim said.
He said people living nearby were told not to approach the factory while authorities are working at the scene.
“Fire trucks are on standby near the factory in case anything happens,” he said. “If they see smoke coming out, they will put out the fire.”
“We believe that all authorities and also factory owners and residents will cooperate with each other until everything is back to normal and safe,” he added.
According to a report by the National Police, the fire was caused by an electrical circuit malfunction, subsequently setting all the equipment on fire. Forty-five fire trucks were deployed to put out the fire.
Meanwhile, the Fire Department recently reported that there were 429 fires in the Kingdom during the first six months of this year, an increase of 78 cases compared to the same period last year.
Ten people have died, 46 were injured and 418 houses were destroyed in fires across the country this year.