Two children were injured in a fire on the fourth floor of a house in Phnom Penh’s Daun Penh district yesterday.
Daun Penh district security forces attended the blaze in Phsar Chas commune, smashing the walls of the house to rescue the children trapped by the fire.
In a separate incident also yesterday evening, a fire burnt dozens of homes in Beung Chhouk village in Sen Sok district.
Flames and smoke from the massive blaze could be seen rising into the air from the scene.
Authorities used 12 fire trucks to put out the fire. The operation was continuing as of press time and officials were unable to confirm how much damage had been caused.
The two children rescued from the earlier fire were seriously injured and sent for treatment at the Kantha Bopha Children’s Hospital.
Hem Vanna, a 40-year-old resident living near the scene, said he was unaware of the cause of the fire, but he had heard the childrens’ screams, so shouted for help.
He said villagers and police worked together to break down the walls of the house.
“My mother called and shouted to me that there was a house fire,” Mr Vanna said. “I ran to see and the children were screaming for help. It looked so scary, I started crying. I shouted to the neighbours to help as well.”
He said that the fire was contained to one house with brick walls and a metal roof.
The owner of the home was identified as Phan Naret.
The other blaze in Sen Sok district’s Teuk Thla commune started at about 6 pm.
Neth Vantha, head of the National Police’s fire department, said officers were working to save residents and the degree of damage was currently unknown.
He said that this month marked the start of the dry season, so he appealed to people to be more careful about preventing fires.
“People need to have fire extinguishers in their homes and know the contact numbers of firefighter units nearby. People must also learn how to prevent and put out fires to protect themselves,” Mr Vantha said.
He said private organisations and companies should also assign staff members to act as fire wardens who can help prevent and respond to any fire incident.
Mr Vantha said there were 514 fires last year, leaving 22 people dead and more than 100 people injured. Of these, 84 fires took place in Phnom Penh, causing seven deaths and 11 injuries.